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Friday, October 19, 2007

Milton Reaches Ethics Complaint Milestone.

By DOUG NURSE The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
www.ajc.com
Published on: 10/19/07

The Milton City Council, not even a year old, has reached a dubious milestone: A majority of its members have had ethics complaints filed against them.

On Thursday, a complaint was filed against City Council member Julie Zahner Bailey, making her the fourth member of the seven-member governing board to be accused of violating the city's code of ethics. So far, not a single complaint has been found to have merit.

The complaint, filed by Bill Fantozzi, said that Zahner Bailey "in her authoritative and persuasive position as council member" coerced City Community Development Director Tom Wilson into sending a city planner to oppose a development being considered by the Alpharetta City Council on July 23.

Zahner Bailey is up for re-election on Nov. 6.

The development, Shops at Crabapple, is near the border of the two cities, and was approved.
Zahner Bailey claims the complaint is frivolous, saying Fantozzi is active in the campaign of her opponent, Roger Santi. She said Fantozzi also supports sewer lines in Milton, which Zahner Bailey opposes.

"Given the negative tactics of my opponent's campaign to this point, it is not surprising that someone engaged in my opponent's campaign would make these unfounded and politically motivated allegations," she said in a statement. "This is a waste of tax payer resources..."
Fantozzi claims that Zahner Bailey violated the city's Code of Ethics requiring city council members work through the city manager and prohibiting council members from directly giving orders to staff. The complaint alleges that Zahner Bailey broke the rules when she:

• Directed Wilson to take a position on a matter pending in Alpharetta;
• Required Wilson to write a letter to the Alpharetta City Council stating the position of the Milton City Council;
• Required Wilson to send Planner Mike Tuller to the Alpharetta meeting.
Fantozzi further questioned whether Zahner Bailey unilaterally set the city's policy on the project without approval of the city manager or the city council.

Fantozzi said in his complaint that Wilson on Wednesday told him and two other men, "I would not have recommended denial without her strong influence." Fantozzi said Wilson also told them he would not have recommended denial if she were not a council member, and that he felt coerced by her.

Ethics complaints were also filed against council members Neal O'Brien and Bill Lusk by a supporter of Zahner Bailey, and another was filed against Mayor Joe Lockwood by a supporter of Council member Rick Mohrig. All were dismissed by the city ethics board.

The city subsequently revised the ethics code to better define what constitutes an ethics violation and to establish penalties for filing frivolous ethics complaints.

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

Fantozzi is at it again. What a joke!

Anonymous said...

What's in this for Tom Wilson?
Appears he does not have a lot of back bone !!

Anonymous said...

Where were the fab four when Tom's arm was being twisted?
Something about this scene just does not add up.

Anonymous said...

Is this a classic "scattter gun" and "can't unring a bell" approach to get elected?

Anonymous said...

Did Julie hold a gun to his head to require he do all these unethical acts??

Could it be ole Tom-tom has been promised membership in Sheriff's posse.

Fab four were busy putting on their big girl panties when all this happened therefore they were unable to take action.

Anonymous said...

If Wilson had a problem and felt coerced then he should have spoken up...if he can't speak for himself, he certainly shouldn't be speaking for others...

Anonymous said...

Are city staff members even authorized to make comments like the one that Wilson supposedly made to Fantozzi?

And did Doug Nurse bother to verify with Tom Wilson whether or not the comments were made?

Typical of his journalistic style...

If Wilson did indeed make those comments, then he should be fired...period.

Anonymous said...

Well put -- I agree!

Anonymous said...

If Tom Wilson, I agree, isn't strong enough to "just say no" then he is weak and he needs to step off. I say lets clean house at City Hall including the infected staff. Tom, you are weak and a wimp, your actions speak volumes. There are those who lead and those who follow and those who follow anyone, you my friend are the latter.

Anonymous said...

As you read this, Sheriff, fab four , posse and key elite players are in conference to plan course of action to assist the Fant in winning this case.

Comb Over Boy, Vermin, More-Rig and O'Brain will have to memorize their lines for the hearing.

Santi is providing monetary support!

Anonymous said...

Let me tell you a little, and true, story...

About two weeks ago I was walking on Freemanville Road and passed by a man who was putting up signs in front of a new subdivision with only an entrance, no homes are built yet. Every single day for over four years, I've taken the opportunity to meet and talk with folks in Milton. I was curious why this man was putting up signs there and asked if he was the developer. I wanted to hear a developers point of view firsthand. He became agitated and asked if I was Julie and made some sarcastic remarks (now I realize he obviously knew I wasn't Julie). Then I asked if he had permission because I had just been to a City Council meeting where they talked about candidate and real estate signs. The man said that Bill Lusk told him to put the signs there. The signs were for Santi, O'Brien and Mohrig. This guy's demeanor was so strange and angry. He screamed after me as I was walking away. I got the make and model of his car and his license plate number. It was Bill Fantozzi. And now he files an ethics charge against Julie Bailey. Something is very fishy here. I've heard that he doesn't even live in Milton but he had something to do with the sewer situation at The Manor and he absolutely despises Julie for getting in the way. That must be why he acted the way he did towards me that day. Can you just imagine how difficult it must be day after day, year after year, to go up against these type of individuals just to protect where we live?

May Goodness and Honesty prevail on November 6th so that we can get this town on track and going in the right direction.

-Patti Silva

Anonymous said...

This is what happens when dealing with the likes of JJ, the fabulous four, Ry-lee, Santi, Chatham's, Gordon Hunter, the Tozzi and numerous others....They do not, repeat do not care for the community as a whole.....all are opportunists...or should we say professional opportunists.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Access Milton said...

NOTE:

The following comment was posted earlier today using questionable language. As per our policy at Accessmilton.com, we DO NOT allow any type of vulgarity. Thus, we have now reposted the comment with the term in question removed.

Anonymous said...
Patti-

Don't take it personally...

Fantozzi is just a _____...

-ME
5:24 AM

Anonymous said...

It appears there is vulgarity on both sides of the aisle, not just from Mr. Duncan

Anonymous said...

The word in question is used on television all the time...

But the site admin is entitled to his opinion...

But calling it vulgarity is a little over the top...

the word was no worse than calling him a jerk...

Anonymous said...

I would prefer [only my two cents ] that some infromation be shared as to what the facts of the situation are.

From what I have read there seems to be alot of rhetoric but I have yet to read Julie saying. "It's Not true, I did not do it."

Or " I did do it and here is why"

Fantozzi tomes, "fire the whimp" and name calling really don't educate us much as to what actually happened. I [for one] would like to be better infromed of the facts BEFORE I make a decision or pass judgement.

This is a serious complaint, and should be treated as such by all of Milton's citizens.

Anonymous said...

This is not a serious complaint...that's the whole point...

Go to city hall and request a copy of the complaint...it's a weak attempt to discredit someone running for office.

I'm not sure I'd necessarily vote for either person in this race, so don't write me off a foot soldier for either...

Anonymous said...

It's amazing to me how many people are so well practiced in responding to a question by evasive, non-responsive information. Yes or no??? Frivolous, weak attempt, whatever... doesn't get it. Yes or no???

Anonymous said...

From what I understand (and correct me if I'm wrong), the chain of command in cities is this:

City Staff reports to the Mayor/City Manager.
City Manager reports to the City Council.
City Council reports to Us, the People.

So, if this is true then it makes sense that Julie Bailey might ask Tom Wilson to attend a meeting and make recommendations which could affect the future of Milton.

And, no one knows yet what really happened because we can never completely trust politicians or those who financially support them such as Mr. Fantozzi.

Would it be appropriate to file an ethics charge against another council member for calling residents in Milton and making false accusations about a candidate?

Would it be appropriate to file an ethics charge against a council member who continuously disrespects another council member openly, inappropriately and in public view?

Would it be appropriate to file an ethics charge against a council member who was caught sneaking around and looking in files in the middle of the night at City Hall?

Would it be appropriate for an ethics charge to be filed against a council member who works at the home of our State Representative as a conflict of interest?

What do you think?

Anonymous said...

What is the connection between "The Tozzi" and Bill Lusk ?

Anonymous said...

Absolutely appropriate to file ethics charges against various Council Member's for the reasons you outline

And especially O'Brien for his deplorable snooping around City Hall. In fact he should be taken to task for a lot more serious things than snooping -stealing documents for example.

Stealing seems to be something he excells in. Last year he was seen by his neighbors, removing opposition election signs, from within his sub-division. How disappointing that they took the decision not to report him.

It's understandable but very unfortunate that City Staff, for fear of losing their jobs, are reluctant to blow the whistle on what they have witnessed in respect of Mr O'Brien.

The change to the charter initiated by Jan Jones of course gave power to her 4 puppets- they thus have 4 votes and can get rid of staff at their discretion.

Add to the disgusting mix the fact that the same 4 have a very close friend and ally in none other than the exceptionally unethical city attorney Mark Scott.

He constantly aludes to his four friends on the council and only recently was bad mouthing our Mayor to staff at City Hall by calling him a liar amongst other things. He is a disgrace and if anyone needs to be brought up on ethics violations it is him. A change in the current balance on the council over this election will see him out of a job, and hopefully his law firm out the City Account.

And good riddance - what a splendid day that would be for Milton.

Julie may not be everyone's cup of tea, but for all her faults, she comes nowhere close to the venemous, calculated, uncouth underhand and devious behavior of others on the council.

And as to the Ethics complaint against her...it's pathetic. The alleged incident happened in July...ask yourself why is it being brought forward now.

And what a piece of work Tom Wilson is...but then again he's in the other camp as well.

Believe you me there is a lot more at stake here.

Get out spread the word to your friends and vote to make sure that Santi, Mohrig and O'Brien are not on council for a 4 YEAR TERM.

Anonymous said...

So why doesn't Julie simpily say, "It's a lie, I didn't do it"

Insted of this;

"This ethics violation charge is frivolous, groundless, politically motivated and conveniently timed."

Anonymous said...

This blog is dancing aroudn so many issues with so much venom flying, it's missing the point.

For whatever reason [good, bad, political] a complaint has been filed.

What we need now is the complaint to be answered.

I don't beleive that blasting Santi and Fantozzi answers the charges againist her.

This "But you,you,you did so and so" sounds like a playground arguement.

Anonymous said...

Dear,

Tom Wilson "just say no"

Obviously, you never said "NO" to Julie Zahner Bailey.

Anonymous said...

"This is not a serious complaint.........that's the whole point"

Sorry, but I beg to disagree, I do not want my tax dollars used to pay council members to make unilateral decisions about other cities business and have them push city employees [also paid by my tax dollars]to go to fight for or againist something because they fear loosing their jobs.

I firmly believe that good employees are needed to run the city without political interference.

And we've lost some good ones last year.

Think for a moment, How much control do you want politicians to have over the various departments.
That's how police states come to power.

Anonymous said...

Police State?

This wasn't just Alpharetta's business, so you obviously didn't read the entire artical, or you don't realize where Crabapple is.

Anything that Alpharetta does on the land that they own in Crabapple has a direct effect on Milton.

Anonymous said...

Dear sir or Madame,

I am well aware where Crabapple is located.And yes I would agree with you that it could have a direct effect on Milton.

But, anything that Cherokee County or Forsyth Counties due [particularly in the south parts of those counties] could have a direct effect on The City of Milton also.

But I still don't think [if it's true and I haven't heard from her that it isn't] Council members should make unilateral decisions to send staff people to do anything in other cities or counties without the knowledge and consent of the governing body.

If you're not an elected official, you may [as a citizen] bitch, gripe and brow beat staff all you want to do whatever you think they should be doing/not doing.

But not while you're serving on council, That is like pushing your personal agenda with tax dollars and city employees.

Even if you feel it is for the good of the City, it is not one council members place to make those kind of decisions.

There are more appropriate ways to work for the good of the city without the appearance of misconduct.

Anonymous said...

Since you think "jerk" is the same as the word deleted, let's clarify:

"Pr_ck" describes the thing that he is.
"Jerk" is what is done with it.

Either way it's a good description.

Anonymous said...

The "Police State" analogy was ment only to cause pause for thought of what COULD happen if Council members personal agendas go unchecked.

The last thing we want is for council members to think they can use their positon to "manage" other departments [once again, if its true that one member used the Community Development Director to promote her position]

The city already has enough problems with ethics complaints being thrown back and forth [from all sides of the aisle]

The last thing we need is for a council member to say, "Officer, Go arrest Mr./Mrs. Joe jones for littering." [if they don't have the "corrct yard sign in there yard.]

And from what I've seen, we aren't to far away from that kind of insanity.

Anonymous said...

Or better yet..."Officer go arrest the fab four for impersonating council(wo)man"

Anonymous said...

When we begin to fire staff for telling the truth. We're in BIG trouble folks.

Anonymous said...

Has any staff member been fired for telling the truth? If you are referring to Tom-tom telling the truth, this will or should come out in the ethics hearing, The same goes for Julie.

Old saying: You may be right but at the same time you are dead right.

Anonymous said...

Reply to "have you ever said No to Julie". I have no problem saying No to Julie or anyone for that matter. No one can talk me into saying or doing anything against my will. Too bad Tom Wilson is lacking spinal vertebre.

So you saying it's unethical to go to another City's council meeting within our County, right next to our City? Would it be unethical to request the minutes of another City's Council meeting also to find out what their plans are since what they do affects us? We are in the same County, unlike Cherokee and Forsyth. Would it be wrong too to have anyone in our City go and attend an Alpharetta City Council meeting as well, since that is a conflict of interest? Are you for real?

No one had a problem with half of Alpharetta City Council attending Santi's fundraiser at the Manor. Go recheck the guest list that also included Ron Wallace, Lynne Reilly. That's unethical!!!! Roger Santi is the one sleeping with the enemy if, it was wrong for Tom Wilson to attend an Alpharetta City Council meeting, then Santi is an Alpharetta Conspirator.

Santi is running for Milton, not Alpharetta, so what is their interest in him? You all are smart, you can figure that out yourself.

Just what Malice was done in Tom Wilson attending this meeting? None. He didn't go to Russia as spy for crying out loud! This ethics charge is stupid and a political tactic which is so obvious.

Michelle - Milton

Anonymous said...

I agree, I was only referring to the above post that called for Tom to be fired.

At this stage of things, I haven't heard or read if,

Tom said what the complaint says he said or Julie say, it's not true, I didn't do it.

When is the hearing? Does Ticket Master have any seats avaliable?

This is going to be a show.

Anonymous said...

The connection between "Tozzi" and Lusk is that they both have really bad hair.

Anonymous said...

Michelle in Milton.

I believe you must be living in a parallel universe.

One of us is not reading the ethics charge very well.

I don't recall reading or anyone saying anything close to "It is/was "wrong" to attend another city/county meeting."

I do however beleive it is wrong for Council members to use staff to push their own agendas.

The issue is not that a city planner went to a meeting. It is [according to the complaint] Julie coerced Tom Wilson into sending a planner to Oppose a development in a another city without the knowledge and censent of the entire council.

That in itself is Julie using city funds for her own agenda.

And yes it is wrong. I am sorry you can't descern the difference.

"Beam my up Scotty, Milton is brain dead."

Anonymous said...

Innocent until proven guilty.

If you want a guilty verdict, suggest the case be heard by the very ETHICAL Mrs. Ry-lee Fulton County Commissioner. If she needs legal assistance, JJ's hubby would be a good choice....If Ry-lee is not available, let the city attorney pick someone...he does have a dog in this fight.

Anonymous said...

Seems like I read on this blog, city attorney referred to the fab4 as his friends or something to that effect.....so he could have at least 4 or more dogs in this fight. Think he might belong to same ethical group as Mrs. Ry-lee ?