Absent supporting data, the city “Ethics Commission” acted correctly in refusing to consider, at least for the time being, the complaint filed against Mayor Lionel Rivera. The complaint alleged that the Mayor had, and may still have, an undisclosed business relationship with LandCo CEO Ray Marshall. The complaint further alleges that Rivera profited thereby, creating a conflict of interest.
The complainant, investment advisor Ron Johnson, said that he would produce documentary evidence of this conflictual relationship in the near future.
That’s fine – but two points come to mind.
First, the commission is barred from considering ethical lapses that occurred more than a year from the filing of a complaint. Granted, there needs to be some sort of “statute of limitations” on such complaints-but one year? That seems unduly short.
Secondly, the commission, like Caesar’s wife, ought to be above suspicion. Of the three memebers, one is a lawyer with the city attorney’s office, and another is a longtime political insider who supported the Mayor in his re-election bid two years ago. I know them both-and believe them to be extraordinarily honorable and capable individuals, who would be unswayed in their judgment by personal, political, or job-related concerns. But appearance is everything.
And third, this entire, elaborate charade, this home-grown Kabuki theater that so entrances the political junkies among us, could be ended ina minute – if the Mayor spoke up.
But, for reasons best known to himself, he hasn’t. And the show goes on.
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