Chatham Ethics Ad Hoc Committee reviews complaints
The village of Chatham Ethics Ad Hoc Committee met Dec. 13 to review complaints.
Here are the meeting's minutes, as provided by the committee:
Here are the minutes as provided by Chatham:
Village of Chatham Ethics Ad Hoc Committee Meeting (Tuesday, December 13, 2016)
Generated by Elaine M Moran on Saturday, December 17, 2016
1. Call to Order - Meeting started at 9:00 AM
Attendance: Trustee Kimsey, Trustee Fountain Absent: Trustee Schatteman (excused for work reasons) Also present: Greg Moredock, Attorney with Sorling Northrup; Don Craven, Attorney with Donald N. Craven, P.C. who is representing Mayor Tom Gray; and Elaine Moran, Deputy Clerk
2. Public Comments: Public comments were made by: Andrea Parker, Jeff Greer, Bonnie Bileck, and Darlene Judd.
Darlene said that Jewel Brant is attending the meeting as the representative of the Water Quality Group.
3. Review and discussion of Brant Ethics Complaint: Jewel Brant listed the complaints that the Water Quality Group is bringing to the meeting today. The complaints are as follows:
1. Violation of the Ethics Ordinance (The Mendenhall Agreement)
2. Violation of the Wholesale Water Agreement
3. Complaints filed with the A.R.C.D.
4. "No confidence vote" of Mayor Gray
Mr. Craven gave his responses to the above complaints being brought at the Ethics Ad Hoc Committee Meeting. He gave his responses in reverse order to the above complaints given by Brant.
4. Since the Village of Chatham is not administered by "home rule" a "no confidence" vote is not a remedy according to Section III.
3. The mayor's status with the A.R.C.D. has nothing with to do with Mayor Gray's title as mayor. The A.R.C.D. contains no rules of conduct and requires allegations of complaint by another party.
2. The Mendenhall Agreement was approved by the Village of Chatham Board and the Commission, and Mayor Gray did not approve or sign the agreement.
1. Regarding the Violation of Ethics Ordinance Mr. Craven stated Mayor Gray fulfilled certain obligations by appointing a special counsel after there were requests for a special counsel to listen to specific concerns regarding the water supply, he requested there be a flushing program of the water supply, he requested a new engineering firm be hired, and all commissioners have been appointed by the Board. Mayor Gray has no duty to supervise the commissioners or the counsel. The Commissioners report directly to the Board.
Also, Mr. Craven asked that any violations about the Open Meetings Act be dismissed. This situation would require that a private or public remedy be applied since there is no remedy allowed by the Ethics Ordinance.
4. Discussion and potential action on findings and recommendations
Jewel Brant requests that more study be done regarding the interconnectedness of the Mendenhall Agreement and the Wholesale Water Agreement due to the fact that there may have been some unethical practices. Trustee Kimsey responded to her comments and thinks the Village can comply with her request in some way.
Trustee Kimsey summarized the requests of Brant with a result for each item as follows:
1. Refusal to Meet (Mayor Gray) - Request will be withdrawn
2. Refusal to Resign (Mayor Gray) - Ad Hoc committee to determine result
3. Access to Joe Greene who was mentioned in the Mendenhall Agreement - undetermined
4. Open Meetings Act -Request will be withdrawn
5. Mendenhall Agreement - Results in the future based on more study by the counsel
There will be 30 days allowed for the counsel to make a recommendation to the Board regarding Number 5 (above) while legal analysis and legal correctness is determined. A summary in writing must be submitted to each Committee of the Whole member by December 22nd. Another Ad Hoc Ethics Committee Meeting is scheduled for December 20th at 3:00 PM in the Municipal Hall.
5. Adjournment - Trustee Kimsey motioned to adjourn the meeting and was seconded by Trustee Fountain. All others voiced approval and the meeting was adjourned at 10:35 AM.