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Ethics Deformed

                                                  The Characters

 

  Throughout the two different proposals, as well as the topic of ethics in general, many people are noted. Some of these individuals have inserted themselves into the topic of the competing proposals by either being a sponsor of a proposal, by being assigned to the Ethics Ad-hoc Committee, or in one case, of being quoted by a media source and mentioning a previous ethics complaint. Listed below is a brief review of “Who’s Who” in the local Ethics Proposal debacle and a brief explanation of why they are on that list, their role, and a brief overview of what role they play in this topic.

 

  1. Ken Fleming (Rep.- 7th Dist.)- Mr. Fleming is the original sponsor of the first proposal that was introduced to the Louisville Metro Council in 2008. This proposal was brought together after months of research from a variety of sources through federal, state, and local government. Two reports provided credibility for the necessity of an Ethics bill, and thus Mr. Fleming sought to introduce the first proposal. This proposal was pulled in late February when Mr. Fleming knew that Ms. Marianne Butler was to introduce a competing proposal. Mr. Fleming’s proposal increases the reach of Ethics rules to include various financial matters, as well as the dealings with various businesses and groups that work directly under/with Louisville Metro Government, (i.e. MSD, Louisville Water Company, and various other contracted groups), and it set a definite standard of operation for the Ethics Commission, as well as following the recommendations of the Louisville Metro Government Office of Internal Audit’s report to allow anonymous reports to be made.
  2. David Tandy (Dem.- 4th Dist.)- Mr. Tandy is the original co-sponsor with Mr. Ken Fleming, and was voted in as President of the Council in January, 2009. Mr. Tandy pulled his sponsorship from the Fleming proposal when Ms. Marianne Butler produced her proposal to the council. This allowed Mr. Tandy to oversee the Ethics Ad-hoc Committee and vote on that committee if there should be a tie.
  3. The proposal does not broaden, empower, or provide more freedom to the Ethics Commission to investigate alleged wrongs. The proposal also does not allow anonymous reporting of possible violations, but requires that personal information including email accounts. This proposal does fine individuals for inaccurate or misleading reports, without allowing them to accurately appeal the fine or defend the legitimacy of their filing.
  4. Jon Ackerson (Rep. – 18th  Dist.)- Mr. Ackerson is a former state senator and co-sponsor of Ms. Butler’s proposal.
  5. Bob Henderson (Dem.- 14th Dist.)- Claims to be the victim of a false ethics complaint that was filed by Sarah Lynn Cunningham against not only Mr. Henderson, but his legislative aide, Mr. Larry Mattingly, MSD Executive Director Bud Shardein, and others. This complaint was dropped by the Ethics Commission in 2008 after the report that there was insufficient evidence to continue. This complaint was contended by MSD to the local and state court arguing that the Ethics rules did not include MSD as a government entity, thereby ensuring that they could not be the recipient of such complaints and investigation. Mr. Henderson openly guffawed Mr. Fleming for pulling his proposal in a newspaper article entitled “Metro Council to attempt to reconcile ethics proposals” that was published in the Courier-Journal on March 13, 2009. Mr. Henderson is a supporter of the Butler/Ackerson proposal because he desires “accountability” for those who make complaints. Mr. Henderson has opted not to respond to various emails regarding the ethics proposal until the Ad-hoc committee has brought before the joint proposal to council. He has stated, through the Communications Director, that he would prefer to listen to the facts of the proposal.
  6. Ethics Ad-Hoc Committee- This committee was put together by Mr. David Tandy, as President of the Council, to attempt to provide a joint proposal that both major parties could agree with. Mr. Tandy is presiding over the committee and will vote in the case of necessity, should there be a tie vote. The following are committee members:

Democrats on Ethics Ad-hoc Committee:

   Cheri Bryant Hamilton (5th), Rick Blackwell (12th), Marianne Butler (15th), Dan Johnson (21st), Brent Ackerson (26th)

 

Republicans on the Ethics Ad-hoc Committee:

  Ken Fleming (7th), Kevin Kramer (11th), Kelly Downard (16th),  Stuart Benson (20th), James Peden (23rd).

 

  Tomorrow’s report will show the importance of the background that each individual on the ad-hoc committee brings.  

May 11, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , ,

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