What Fresh Hell Is This?

August 21, 2007

Mayor Luke To Face The Music Today - Sorta

Both the P-G and the Trib have articles out today pointing out that today's the day Mayor Luke faces the city's Ethics Board.

Bram's posted on the Trib article already. There's not much more in the P-G. Here's how Blazina begins:
Mayor Luke Ravenstahl will tell the city Ethics Hearing Board today why he believes he didn't violate the city's ethics policy when he participated in a charity golf outing as the guest of two organizations that do business with the city.
The framing is at the very least embarrassing to Mayor Luke. He has to show how he hasn't violated the City Code - and the last part of the sentence reminds us that he had some fun on someone else's dime.

Here's the City Code, by the way, if anyone wants to follow along at home.


The Bag of Health and Politics said...

What Luke did isn't uncommon. But that doesn't make it right...

McArdle said...

I wish I could go, but I am at work.

The question to ask here is "Does the Mario Lemieux Golf Invitational qualify as a 'charitable event' under section 197.07.e of the ethics code or as a 'cultural or athletic event' under section 197.07.f?" If the former, there is no problem. If the latter, there is a very big problem.

EdHeath said...

I wonder if people could attend the hearing, or if it is closed? I would have taken off work.

I’m not sure I split the hairs the same way McArdle does, instead I am guided by the FAQ at the back of the Ethics Handbook, including a paragraph on I believe the last page of the handbook that specifically mentions a $100 per event limit, for essentially all functions. Since this conveys the intent of the Council, I believe it has considerable relevance in this matter.

I can not believe the comments Kate DiSimone made in the Trib. The city law department has given up any pretense of serving the interests of the city, instead she lays out, in public, exactly what the Mayor should say to the Ethics Board. And since she "guides" the Ethics Board, she can back him up as he instructs up to three members to recuse themselves, or tells the Ethics Board they have to have an investigation since no formal complaint has been brought, or as he tells the Ethics Board that George Specter’s July determination that the Mayor did nothing unethical should trump any ruling they want to make. Clearly the Mayor wants this to go away, preferably, or at least drop off the radar until after the election. What will be interesting to see is if the Ethics Board does not drop or delay the matter. I don’t think there is an appeal possible, but the Mayor might simply refuse to acknowledge the Board’s ruling. Then we truly would be in what Sister Patrice described as “Virgin Territory”.