Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Town Employees Warned Against Helping Candidates Get Elected

The Explorer reports that the Town Council will discuss the issue of town employees playing an active role in our elections----one of which is coming up in a matter of weeks.

As a result of having a citizen request & receive the signed petitions, it was determined that an Oro Valley nonresident police officer and a close relative of a chief were among those that helped get some candidates the necessary signatures to get on the ballot.

For any of our readers interested, the Oro Valley chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police supports council candidates K.C. Carter, Mark Finchem, Joe Hornat, Mary Snider and Lou Waters.

Talk about a Quid Pro Quo waiting to happen!

Read The Explorer article here.


ezek said...

If I read the article correctly, if a town employee petitions or hands out flyers on their own time and does not use their position with the town in any of their activities involving town politics, then it is fine. There is no issue. Correct me if I am wrong.

artmarth said...

Ezek--- If you get a chance to listen to Town Attorney Tobin Rosen explain the situation as he did at the council meeting on Jan 20, you'll note that there is a chance of a conflict of interest if any town employee actively works on behalf of any candidate.

As Mr. Rosen pointed out, the employee has the right to put out a sign on his property, put on a bumper sticker or tell his friends who he supports.

Going around with signature petitions or handing out campaign literature is not acceptable.


As citizen Chris DeSimone stated from the podium on this issue--- "It is a major conflict of interest" as employees are always employees. This is particularly true of the police that are considered to be "working" all hours.

The council voted to table the issue until staff can generate more information.

Zev Cywan said...

Just came back from the Council meeting; it appears that there will be a study and further clarification as to which activities are deemed to be permissible and which are not. Another study, whee......

Zev Cywan said...

Just because a person, a group, or an affiliate association of same might endorse a particular candidate does not mean that necessarily a dangerous opening for 'quid pro quo' exists UNLESS one can PROVE a link of specificity. That the Fraternal Order of Police has endorsed certain candidates and therefor a 'return' might be EXPECTED is wholly unfair to the candidates named.

ezek said...

I agree.