It took the city’s Independent Ethics Commission less than 10 minutes this morning to decide they need more specific information before they can decide whether Mayor Lionel Rivera violated ethics policy.
Ron Johnson, president and CEO of Central Bancorp, filed a complaint saying that Rivera handles financial accounts for the developer chosen by the city to build a U.S. Olympic Committee headquarters building.
The commission gave Johnson a week to come up with more detailed, specific allegations – including dates, because an ethics violation must have occurred within the last 12 months for the commission to be able to consider it.
“I am not surprised,” Johnson said. “These are serious charges, and it makes sense that the city and the ethics commission want to move cautiously.”
Johnson said his complaint wasn’t solely about the mayor. Instead, he said it was about the closed-door meetings between the city, the USOC and LandCo, the company chosen to build the USOC headquarters.
“The entire process has been done without public knowledge and oversight,” he said. “And now that it’s gone off track, it’s still all being done secretly. The same three people are still involved – the city attorney, the mayor and (assistant city manager) Mike Anderson. They want to see this succeeds because they have the highest level of self-interest, not necessarily the best public interest.”
After Johnson provides more information the city attorney will set a date for another ethics hearing.