Mayor Luke Ravenstahl insisted to members of the city Ethics Hearing Board today that there was nothing wrong with his participation in a celebrity golf outing, but board officials said they may want new rules clarifying such events.And a few paragraphs later got to the quotation that should eventually haunt Mayor Luke:
"This was not a gift to me -- I received nothing," he said. "It would be different if I was the [beneficiary] of $9,000. I wasn't."The story made it onto the AP:
The five-member Ethics Hearing Board questioned Ravenstahl about the June golf outing and about his $9,000 entrance fee, which was paid for by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The board asked whether the arrangement could give the public the perception that the mayor won't be impartial when doing business with the hospital network, the city's biggest employer.Nice to see it's made it onto the national press.
Not that any of this sways Mark DeSantis, Republican mayoral candidate. "It's not about living up to some bureaucratic language," he told me this evening. He said the code of ethics describes the minimum performance level for a public official. A good public servant has to go above and beyond those minimum requirements.
He repeated his call for the mayor not to accept any gratuities from any entity doing business or looking to do business with the city.
But beyond all that. I ask him whether the mayor had violated the ethics code or just the spirit of the ethics code.
"I think he violated the ethics code." DeSantis said, with little hesitation. Along with the spirit. He bases this on his assertion that no one else would have been able to walk up to that event and get what UPMC and the Penguins paid for him to get. Therefore it's something of value.
"He took something of value." He said. "The fact [the mayor] doesn't see it is astounding."