Friday, May 7, 2010

Allentown Ethics Board Loses Member (temporarily)

RE: Board of Ethics of the City of Allentown

On May 7, 2010, at 4:50:25 PM, J. Jackson Eaton, III wrote:

Dear Mr. Villa:

I am writing to you on behalf of the Board of Ethics of the City of Allentown to acknowledge your request for a written advisory opinion received May 5, 2010. In accordance with the requirements of Section 171.10(G) of the Code, a copy of the request has been forwarded to Mr. Donovan who, after receipt, will have fifteen (15) days to respond in writing and/or request a hearing. We will advise you if a hearing is requested.

The Board will process, consider and respond to your request in accordance with the procedures outlined in the Code of Ethics in [sic] the City of Allentown.

You had previously raised questions regarding possible conflicts of members of the Board that might preclude their participation in consideration of the issues raised in your request. The Rev. Canon Maria Tjeltveit acknowledges that Mr. Donovan resides nearby the church in which she serves and that he is a member of a community board of which she is chairperson. She does not believe that her acquaintance with Mr. Donovan or the proximity of his residence to her church will prevent her from rendering a fair, unbiased and objective consideration of the issues raised in your request.

Your request does allege [Editor's Note: "expose" would have been a more accurate word choice here] an improper relationship between Mr. Donovan and an entity presently represented by my law firm.

Accordingly, I will not participate in the deliberations or voting with regard to the advisory opinion which [sic] you have requested. [Translation: JJ has finally opted to recuse himself].

Sincerely,


cc:
Mayor Edward [sic] Pawlowski
Mr. Michael Hanlon, City Clerk
Dr. Rev. [sic] Grant Harrity
Mr. Hugh J. Gallagher
The Rev. Canon Maria Tjeltveit

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((Me))

On May 7, 2010, at 5:21:17 PM, Bill Villa wrote:

Mr. Eaton, who will be replacing you as the "tie breaker" 5th member of the Ethics Board?

Also, although digital communications have advanced a long way since the time the Code of Ethics was adopted, Section 171.10(F) dealing with requests still provides in part that, "In no case shall the Board entertain a request that is not in writing and not signed by the person making the request." Accordingly, I must ask that you submit your acknowledgement of receipt again as mailed hard copy to me, signed by you. Thank you for your consideration.

Have a nice weekend, all.