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Friday, February 15, 2008

Milton Ethics Board Member Resigns

By DOUG NURSE The Atlanta Journal-Constitution / http://www.ajc.com/

A member of the Milton Ethics Board has resigned amid suggestions of wrongdoing among city council members.Susan Campbell said in her resignation letter that the board is being misused. In the 14 months of its existence, the Milton Ethics Board has fielded more complaints than Roswell has in the last 10 years. Campbell e-mailed her resignation Thursday, saying: "I do not believe this board has been a productive function of our new city. We are continually used as pawns in a political game that I no longer feel like being involved in."

City councilwoman Karen Thurman, who appointed Campbell, said she hopes Campbell will reconsider."Susan takes this very seriously," Thurman said. "She has worked very hard to understand rules and principles of ethics in government." Campbell's resignation came after a Milton City Council member said the board should investigate the election-related behavior of the entire council.
The current flare-up started when Thurman wrote the board in January to say that Mayor Joe Lockwood and Councilwoman Tina D'Aversa had violated the city code of ethics by endorsing city council candidates last fall. Thurman argued that to clear up any misunderstanding, the ordinance should be revised to explicitly state that city council members may not use their titles in endorsing council candidates or issues.

Thurman said she only mentioned Lockwood's and D'Aversa's violations because the code of ethics requires council members to report wrongdoing. But, she said, it wasn't meant to be an official complaint. The Ethics Board is scheduled to consider whether to pursue Thurman's report at its next meeting, Feb. 25.

D'Aversa on Thursday asked that the Ethics Board review the behavior of the entire council during the last election, including Thurman whom she said backed candidates in newspaper articles. D'Aversa said it would be unfair for the Ethics Board to focus on just her and the mayor.
"I agree that our ordinance violates our constitutional rights to free speech but want to make sure that Mayor Lockwood and myself are not singled out by council member Thurman," D'Aversa wrote.

The ethics board has stayed busy since Milton became an incorporated city on Dec. 1, 2006.
Ethics complaints have filed against four council members and an ethics board member. Concerned that the ethics board was being used as a political weapon, the council overhauled the ethics ordinance in September.

Roswell, on the other hand, has received no complaints to its ethics board since it was established 10 years ago.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ok, let me get this straigh, "Thurman hopes Susan Campbell will reconsider"?

Either Karen is ignorant and just dosent get it, or is as sneaky as most people think.

Susan Campbell is resigning because Thurman is using the ethics ordinance for her little political games. Read her articles!

Anonymous said...

Ok, let me get this straigh, "Thurman hopes Susan Campbell will reconsider"?

Either Karen is ignorant and just dosent get it, or is as sneaky as most people think.

Susan Campbell is resigning because Thurman is using the ethics ordinance for her little political games. Read her articles!

Anonymous said...

They are all playing political games. Except the new ones - so far.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting....Vermin appoints Campbell, who openly campaigns for Mohrig (See post of 10-05-2007 on this board)..........Did Campbell violate ethics rule by publicly supporting Mohrig?

Anonymous said...

When is this going to end already? Are we going to go into 2008 repeating the mistakes and pettiness of 2007? It's time to move on, and take care of Milton, stop the finger pointing and just do your job.

Anonymous said...

Karen, oh Karen...................

ARE YOU LISTENIng!

Anonymous said...

Can't we ask for her resignation or an impeachment after her latest shenanigans? She made calls to Milton voters in support of, or to bash, certain candidates. My friend was one of those people that she called. The city council should be smart enough to realize that people talk at bus stops. The only way this behavior is going to stop is by getting rid of her and vote her off the Council. Can one of you city council meeting goers see what can be done to start the process. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the previous poster. Can she not be removed from her seat? She is wasting our tax dollars and playing childish games.

Anonymous said...

From the City Charter:

SECTION 2.16.
Removal of officers.

(a) The mayor, a councilmember, or other appointed officers provided for in this charter shall be removed from office for any one or more of the following causes:

(1) Incompetence, misfeasance, or malfeasance in office;

(2) Conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude;

(3) Failure at any time to possess any qualifications of office as provided by this charter or by law;

(4) Knowingly violating Section 2.15 or any other express prohibition of this charter;

(5) Abandonment of office or neglect to perform the duties thereof; or

(6) Failure for any other cause to perform the duties of office as required by this charter or by state law.

(b) Removal of any officer pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall be accomplished by one of the following methods:

(1) By the vote of five councilmembers after an investigative hearing. In the event an elected officer is sought to be removed by the action of the city council, such officer shall be entitled to a written notice specifying the ground or grounds for removal and to a public hearing which shall be held not less than ten days after the service of such written notice. Any elected officer sought to be removed from office as provided in this section shall have the right of appeal from the decision of the city council to the Superior Court of Fulton County. Such appeal shall be governed by the same rules as govern appeals to the superior court from the probate court; or

(2) By an order of the Superior Court of Fulton County following a hearing on a complaint seeking such removal brought by any resident of the City of Milton.

Anonymous said...

Let's see tarring and feathering is not listed is it?

Maybe JJ can introduce and support legislation to add this. NO, she can not because Vermin is a member of her gang of four, which now equals two.....oh well

Anonymous said...

"(5) Abandonment of office or neglect to perform the duties thereof" Does not attending council meetings and work sessions count as "abandonment of office or neglect to perform the duties"? If so, we have grounds to get rid of her. She is drawing a paycheck and not showing up for meetings.

Anonymous said...

I'm not going to add to the negative vibe of this latest accusation.

But I will say this, and hear me loud and clear, shouting at the top of my lungs...

Don't you DARE mess with my Mayor!!

-Patti S.

Anonymous said...

Did y'all hear me all the way over there at City Hall?

Anonymous said...

The council only allows non-thinking, blind followers who never question or debate anything to remain near City Hall. Even the city attorney was fired! At some point we have to realize where the real problems exists. A difference of opinion is healthy for a government.

Anonymous said...

Actually now the council is totally above board and open thinking. There is a healthy mix of input. No more behind the scenes, back room, decisions by the gang of four.

By the way the city still has the same legal firm employed. Only one attorney left the firm, but all others that worked with the city stayed.

If you wonder where the problems are, just open your eyes and ears. Read the papers and lisren to people work with the city. The old gang of 2 is working overtime!

Anonymous said...

Excuse me but I don't get who y'all are referring to when you say the old gang of 2? Are you talking about Thurman and Lusk are working overtime?

Anonymous said...

Just twice as sneaky and behind the scenes with their venom. Also they are in constant contact with the previous "RJ".

Anonymous said...

they are just poor losers.