City Commission Passes Ethics Ordinace, Keeps Corrupt Intent Language

City Commission Passes Ethics Ordinace, Keeps Corrupt Intent Language

During the most recent city commission meeting, elected leaders passed an ethics ordinance that allows for anonymous complaints and grants self-initiating authority to the City’s Independent Ethics Board.

The City’s Independent Ethics Board has been seeking more authority from the city commission based on the referendum approved by voters in 2014.

However, the ordinance adopts language that proponents for stronger ethics rules argues will make it harder to prove ethics violations.

The ordinance adopts a “corrupt intent” standard while others have argued for a standard of “intentionally and knowingly.”

Peter Butzin, on behalf of Common Cause, spoke to the city commission about the ethics ordinance.

Butzin, who has worked with local groups for the last couple of years on city ethics issues, asked the city commission “to provide the independent ethics commission with the powers to investigate anonymous complaints and an enforcement standard of intentionally and knowingly rather than corruptly…”

Butzin told the commission that the corrupt intent language will make it virtually impossible to prove ethics violations.

During the discussion between commissioners, it was determined that anonymous complaints will be allowed under the ordinance through the City’s Independent Ethics Board.

The anonymous complaint component of the ordinance, along with the self-initiating authority, makes the new ethics law more stringent than rules in place with the Florida Commission on Ethics.

The city commission passed the ordinance with the “corrupt intent” language, which is consistent with state law.

3 Responses to "City Commission Passes Ethics Ordinace, Keeps Corrupt Intent Language"

  1. Greg Marr Jr.   February 1, 2018 at 6:25 pm

    The “corrupt intent” standard makes this ordinance another HUGE MIDDLE FINGER directed at the voters.
    One can commit an armed robbery of a bank, be caught with the loot, and corrupt intent be unprovable.
    But wait, there’s more! Tune in to The Voice of Freedom Today on 93.3 FM tomorrow morning for the rest of the story.

    Reply
  2. Gabriel   February 1, 2018 at 9:40 pm

    Interim City Attorney should be on the hot seat for this! Quite sure interim City attorney had a hand in crafting language! It’s called Saving the bosses a$$ with a straight face and with an angelic HALO! Let’s see how long it will take before that angelic Halo becomes a political NOOSE! No wonder two of the three elected SHYSTERS wanted her anointed to top post! Essentially to Cover their inept unethical A$$es! New City Attorney definitely needed with no prior connections to any of those SHYSTERS! Doesn’t matter gender or race, as long as it’s not from within the civil servants rank and file. Interim City Attorney should start looking for another job! Why should appointed future City Attorney keep her? It will only create a ‘deep state’ within City Attorney’s Office no doubt!

    Reply
  3. Mike   February 2, 2018 at 9:03 am

    Translation of “Ethics Policy”: “You Have to Prove that I Meant to do Something Wrong.”

    I hope at some point soon that the FBI comes forward with mountains of hard, incontrovertible evidence that proves both “corrupt intent” and “intentional and knowing” illegal actions of all our city commissioners, the mayor and his staffers, complicit department managers, legal staffers and all others involved. Let’s see what kind of “language they adopt” when that happens.

    I also really hope that if Bill Montford or another ethical, qualified person is elected Mayor, that their first priority is to fire every ranking official (and all their top-level staffers) at City Hall who has been there the past decade or more. We must start over with a cleansed, empty building. My own opinion is City Hall needs tenting, as is done in termite infestations or for other, more sinister vermin.

    Any bets on how many Shred-it trucks will be roaring away in front of City Hall for days if a new “outsider” Mayor is sworn in (or how many destroyed hard drives & smartphones will be found in the City hall dumpsters)? Ask Hillary and Bill, the DNC, or the top-level Washington FBI brass – they probably know some Shred-it executives and can get you a great discount.

    Reply

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