Thursday, October 22, 2009

Milton council member faces ethics complaint

By Ralph Ellis / The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Milton City Council member Tina D’Aversa faces an ethics complaint for allegedly offering her election opponent a committee post if he would drop out of the race.

The complaint, filed Wednesday, says D’Aversa sent an e-mail to Joe Longoria on Sept. 3 in which she offered him an appointment to the city’s Highway 9 Design Guideline Committee in exchange for withdrawing from the Nov. 3 election. The offer violates the city ethics code, as does the use of city e-mails to make the offer, the complaint alleges.

D’Aversa said she did nothing unethical.

“This complaint, filed by former Milton Council member [Neal] O'Brien, is politically motivated and conveniently timed less than two weeks before the election to discredit me,” she said in a statement.

D’Aversa said she supported council member Burt Hewitt, who defeated O’Brien in the 2007 election, and supports other council members O’Brien doesn’t.

Asked why he filed the complaint, O'Brien said: “This is simply about ethics, the rule of law and about constituents’ right to confidence in government free of corruption from the top down. Beyond that I feel the complaint speaks for itself.”

Longoria said the allegations in the ethics complaint are accurate.

He said he’d earlier volunteered to serve on city committees and boards but never heard back from the city, so he decided to run for council. D’Aversa “was a little upset that I was running,” Longoria said.

According to e-mails the city released, D'Aversa wrote to Longoria on Sept. 3: “My intention is for you to join a board or committee and to withdraw your application to seek my council position serving from District 5. … Let’s save the city money and move forward without a costly campaign for the council position.”

Later on Sept. 3, Longoria replied: “As I stated on the phone, this has nothing to do with you or the job you have done. Our city benefits when individuals want to become involved and seek to contribute.”

On Thursday a complaint was filed against D’Aversa with the state Ethics Commission. Staff attorney Tom Plank said he couldn’t release the complaint until it had been delivered to D’Aversa. D’Aversa has 30 days to reply to the complaint.


Anonymous said...

Why leak this to the press before she is served? Why wait six weeks after a violation occurred to file a complaint? Why is this newsworthy now but wasn't six weeks ago?

The answer pure and simple is to make sure she did not have time to be cleared before the election. By filing it now, she has no time to clear herself.

I was going to vote for Longoria because I live in Crooked Creek, but because he chose to let the allegation fester for so long for his benefit, I am changing my vote for Ms. D'Aversa.

Anonymous said...

Typical of you simple minded people that live in Crooked Creek.

Joe Longoria didn't file the ethics complaint, Neil O'Brien did.

People like you shouldn't even be allowed to vote.

Anonymous said...

Neil O'Brien filed it on behalf of Joe Longoria. Of that there is no doubt. That way Neil can get the attention he craves and be seen to be 'important'!

Anonymous said...

Does it really matter who filed it or why? Shouldn't the real issue be whether or not it is true?

Anonymous said...

You people are STUPID!!!!!!!!!!! It just took someone with BALLS to finally step up to the plate and file a complaint. Always bring others in. Unless you can prove others were behind the Ethics complaint than keep your mouth shut or maybe they can put a slander suit against you. The ones that brings other names into this are definetly Tina supporters. So who makes you so on the up and up. Wish we could go back 35 years ago when NONE OF YOU LIVED HERE!!!!!!!!!!!! Fulton County was'nt half as bad as having you people living here (probably in a subdivision on sewer) in the City of Milton. If you don't like it then MOVE!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...


Maria Farrell said...

It seems to me that if Longoria wanted to make this an issue in the campaign, he has had ample time to do so. I cannot find anywhere other than the original article (in which he was responding to questions asked by a reporter) where he discusses the matter. Even this article had to pull a qoute from the original article.

As to the motives of the complainant - unless you live in Mr. O'Brien's head, no one can know his motives. The only thing you are professing is supposition. Suppositions should not be presented as fact if your desire is the truth. It only muddies the water.

Shouldn't the real concern be the ideas and character of the candidates?
Shouldn't the people of Milton decide which of these two people best reflect their ideas and goals for the city of Milton?

I have been following this election for some time.
I observe a lot of name calling and meanspirited banter about the candidates, their supposed motives, whom they choose to support, who supports them, even criticism of their appearance. There is talk of drinking koolaid and posters' mental capacities. There are even posts that seem to be so vile they must be removed from public view.
There is some, but not much, real discussion and exchange of viewpoints concerning the issues and the individual views of the candidates.

What a shame to use an incredible tool like this website for such unproductive diatribe. But when you can remain anonymous I guess it is just too tempting not to let your baser side show.

Anonymous said...

Very well said. It is hard to research the issues when so much anger and name-calling is flying by. No wonder so few people vote and so few good people run. Who can endure all the negativity?