Chairman Brown gets ethics case costs repaid by taxpayers

The Fayette County Commission Chairman Steve Brown got what he wanted April 25 when commissioners voted 3-0 to reimburse Brown for more than $2,000 in legal expenses he incurred fighting an ethics complaint filed by former Commissioner Robert Horgan.

Voting in favor of the reimbursement were commissioners David Barlow, Randy Ognio and Charles Oddo. Commissioner Allen McCarty did not attend the meeting and Brown was not in the room when the agenda item was discussed.

Barlow in his support for reimbursing Brown said he had done quite a bit of research and had heard from citizens weighing in on the issue.

“Commissioner Brown was working for the benefit of the county and not personally,” Barlow said. “He was working for the good of the county and I support reimbursing him.”

Ognio in offering his support for the reimbursement said Brown, “... was acting in an official capacity and that created the situation. I agree with the reimbursement.”

And Oddo in a lengthy prepared statement offered his opinion that he supported reimbursing Brown

“... The question to answer is, is it fair that Commissioner Brown should be marked as unethical by the county he was serving if in order to serve the best interests of the county, he technically violated an ordinance? I don’t believe so,” Oddo said.

“The question then becomes, is it fair that Commissioner Brown pay the legal expense to absolve himself of the verdict? Legally, I do not believe the county is obligated to do so, and under other circumstances, I would say no,” Oddo said.

“If I could feel reasonably sure that there were legitimate unethical lapses on Commissioner Brown’s part resulting in the ethics complaints and the subsequent guilty verdict, I would not consider reimbursing legal expenses as viable,” Oddo said.

“But I am not at all comfortable with the entire process from the creation of this Ethics Board to the verdict handed down. Regardless of anyone’s feelings about the individuals involved in this episode, the facts were far less damning than must be necessary to arrive at a guilty verdict. Therefore, ethically, I believe reimbursement it is the proper thing to do,” Oddo said.

A breakdown of the reimbursement showed that $1,875 of the reimbursement is being paid to attorney Drew Whalen who represented Brown at a Fayette County Ethics Commission hearing. The balance totaling $253 is for Brown’s petition in Fayette County Superior Court to appeal an earlier ethics board decision that found him guilty of two other violations.

Brown in an April 12 letter to commissioners said he should be reimbursed for legal fees to respond to an ethics violation allegation by former Commissioner Robert Horgan.

The ethics board on Jan. 23 ruled against Brown, saying that he improperly ordered the county’s human resources director to consult with the Georgia attorney general’s office on a hiring matter. Brown maintained that his communication with the county human resources director was a request, not an order. But the ethics board disagreed on a 2-1 vote that Brown had violated the ethics ordinance.

Although the ethics board ruled Brown violated the county ethics ordinance, he was not penalized for the infraction.

WLVROCKS
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Voters are not Stupid

Dear Commissioners:
You can count on me for a door-to-door campaign against your re-election.

PTC Observer
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WLVROCKS - You

You certainly can't prove this statement by the people the voters elect.

stranger than f...
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Your Tea Party at Work

The entire slate of commissioners was endorsed and heavily promoted by the local tea party. Remember how well their recommendations are panning out next time you go to the polls.

conditon55
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Tea Party

Strange Brew.

Seems like they need to be having a heart to heart with their guys. Certainly the tea party would be agianst public funding for legal fees for in office abuse of power.

Where is the indignation. Or is it simply, if it is or guy, it is OK?

Will the taxpayers be ask to pay legal fees for the counties attourney under attack by this same crowd?

Will the tea party oppose that ?

Why are these folks so much 'not ready for prime time'

ginga1414
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Stranger and Nuk

Say what you will about the Fayette Tea Party, but please tell me; when was the last time you got involved to help make a difference in our local, State, or Federal Government?

"Can't never did."

At least, we are trying.

stranger than f...
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You're trying alright, and ruining the republican process

Let's see, I never made it my life objective to vilify everyone who didn't kowtow to my every demand. I didn't continually run good people out of office simply because they would not kiss my ring. I never made anyone promise never to compromise in order to get my vote because I realize that republican government is based on compromise.

You're trying alright. The problem is that you are being effective in getting sycophants elected who care about drinking your tea rather than serving their constituents.

NUK_1
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STF: So true

I can't believe that this community is so brain-dead that they embrace and endorse the kind of warped thinking of the Bost Hogg FC Tea Party, hook, line, and sinker. Especially since Bost Hogg is not anyone you want to model your political career after and I personally think he's a bottom-feeder for reasons having nothing to do with politics. Think ESTEX, Fairburn, GA.

A) These are NOT in any way fiscal conservatives of your tax dollars as evidenced almost immediately by wanting another SPLOST after screaming over and over against SPLOSTS and government spending. Hypocrites.
B) The "most transparent commission" has managed to butcher the Open Meetings Act immediately and then their God known as Brown violated the Ethics Ordinance
C) I'm really disappointed in Oddo. I voted for the guy and his thinking behind reimbursing Brown's legal costs astounds me with the sheer lack of logical reasoning.

What a bunch of crap to replace the other crap that was already in office.

ginga1414
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Husband and Father

The reason Mr. McCarty wasn't at the commission meeting was because he was a patient at Piedmont Hospital having quadruple bypass surgery.

The circumstances surrounding the formation of the ethics ordinances, and the ethics board, the person who filed the charges, the charges, and the fact that Mr. Brown was most certainly acting on behalf of the citizens of Fayette County are all valid reasons why he should be reimbursed for the legal fees.

Having attended 99.99% of all commission meetings over the last five years, I can tell you that the ethics ordinances were changed under the Jack Smith administration to accommodate the circumstances surrounding then commissioner, Robert Horgan.

At the beginning of Herb Frady's administration, the commission was told they needed to appoint an ethics board, which was not done.

Within a few weeks of Mr. Frady's retirement, an ethics board was appointed. The new ethics board consisted of opponents of the new administration. One of the new ethics board members felt it was the ethical thing to do to resign his position on the new board. Personally speaking, I greatly admire the man for standing by his convictions.

The first charges brought by Mr. Horgan were so ludicrous that even the ethics board had to qualify the "guilty" verdict with "technically."

Finally, Mr. Brown most assuredly was acting in the best interest of Fayette citizens by seeking legal counsel from Mr. Olens and by requesting an investigation by the Marshall's Office.

Husband and Fat...
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If you say so

I guess it has to be right

ginga1414
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Let It Be Noted

No one has accused Husband, Stranger, Nuk, or RWM of being a "cultist," "toady," "Moony," or "personality worshiper."

Man, talk about "attack, attack, attack!"

NUK_1
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ginga: LOL

No, we all got called "bankers and developers" back when Steve Brown was Mayor. You see, in Steve's delusional mind, ONLY bankers and developers opposed him and I guess PTC has a ton of them since he got demolished by Logsdon for re-election then got destroyed by Matt Ramsey in the next. The margins were enormous and showed how much people were sick of his BS. Must be the thousands and thousands of bankers and developers out there.

You can enjoy his reign as FC Commission Chair until his next election where he'll be thrown away yet again. People in FC are just not that stupid to put up with him for longer than 4 years. He sounds sincere and then voters start to realize he isn't in any way.

Husband and Fat...
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SB 5/7/10

On May 7, 2010 Mr. Brown posted a blog

"The voters are going to determine if the foolish West Fayetteville Bypass gets quashed, just like Jack Smith and Eric Maxwell's foolish SPLOST (8,939 to 2,852). The developer crowd who will benefit from developer welfare package called the West Fayetteville Bypass is going to try their very best to keep me from being elected. If I take over Jack Smith's seat, I will challenge that boondoggle and not let go."

May 2, 2013: The WFB is the best thing since sliced bread. Splosts, I love splosts because I don't have to come up with real solutions.

ginga1414
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Husband

The local Transportation SPLOST (8,939 to 2,852) was based upon the fact that the voters didn't know what they were voting for. A complete list of the projects to be covered by the Transportation SPLOST wasn't published before folks went to the polls. The wording on the ballot ("Road, street, and bridge purposes.") was extremely vague. "Road, street, and bridge purposes" could mean anything. "Road, street, and bridge purposes" included an undisclosed (on the ballot) document known as Exhibit B, which included the WFB

If anyone is aware of how the 2004 Transportation SPLOST came to be, I am one of those people. If anyone is aware of how the West Fayetteville Bypass (Veteran's Parkway) came to be, I am one of those people. The WFB has been on the county planning table since 1985. It first appeared soon after one of our local administrations decided that Fayette County should be aligned with the Atlanta Regional Commission. In other words, the Atlanta Regional Commission has a say so in what happens in Fayette County. People who are not elected by the citizens of Fayette County govern what happens in Fayette County.

The WFB presently runs through my backyard. It has invaded my privacy, reduced my property value and consumed a fair sized chunk of my property. And, yes, I have documentation that Mr. Brown opposed the WFB way back in 2003 when it was being discussed by our local officials as a project to be included with the 2004 Transportation SPLOST.

I assume the SPLOST you are referring to in the last paragraph of your comment is the proposed Stormwater SPLOST. Stormwater Town Hall Meetings were conducted so that Fayette citizens would have an opportunity to be part of the solution dealing with the stormwater issues. Anyone who attended the Stormwater Town Hall Meetings knows that our stormwater infrastructure (culverts under our roads) is a crumbling mess. Those folks also know that there are federal and state requirements connected with stormwater issues. During the Town Hall Meetings a lot of possibilities for solutions to the problems were discussed by the public and the elected officials. The suggestion of a SPLOST was recommended by several citizens. It was also suggested, by citizens, to raise taxes, and to designate the Stormwater fee as a Stormwater Tax. I can't favor one suggestion over another. As I see it, whether it is called a fee, or a tax, or a SPLOST it all boils down to the same thing.

Husband and Fat...
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Ginga - more

When the hospital started to expand, that was a tell tale sign that future expansion was on the way. Mr. Brown was correct in his description of a developers dream. But he lied to the people claiming he would stop the road. He knew it was too late. I never thought the road was a good idea and hated losing the rural feel of the land. Whenever I picked up guests at the airport I always drove them through this rural part of the county to show it off. It bothers me to this day how Mr. Brown and his cronies played this game then flicked the switch and now claim they made lemonade. Pinewood was a result of the state tax credits and hard work by the developer along with economic development of FC.

The new splost is a joke and I will do my best to stop it. The clean water act and the storm water issue is a long term cost that will never go away and needs to be taxed. Our commissioners are just afraid to do it, just like previous commissions. I have posted solutions that have been successfully implemented. But what do I know?

AtHomeGym
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H & F & Lemonade

Maybe I missed something, but I don't recall where anyone on the current Board of Commissioners claimed that the WFB was 'Lemonade' or played any major role in Pinewoods's decision to locate here. Pls help me and point out where I can find such claim. Thanks.

ginga1414
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AtHomeGym, You Are Right

I have been told by officials closer to the situation than I that the major factor in Pinewood's decision to locate here was the vast amount of rural property surrounding the site. None of our current county officials wanted or backed the WFB. They were all against it.

Isn't that ironic? The very aspect of Fayette County that attracted so many here is the very thing that will destroy that quality.

The majority of folks moved here for the rural qualities and the schools. However, some of those same people are the ones wanting to bring in mass transit and rail.

Old fuddy-duddies, like myself, are fighting tooth and nail to preserve our rural qualities while the folks who moved here for those qualities are fighting to urbanize.

However, I must say that it isn't all newcomers to the county who are trying to develop us into oblivion. Young generations of old Fayette families see more green in pavement than pastures. Our map of large parcel property owners along the WFB proved that.

Officials from several administrations back set the WFB in motion, and the ongoing plans were kept under wraps until it was too late. I imagine those officials said to themselves, "What the public doesn't know, won't hurt us." One City Official (Atlanta Regional Commission devotee) claimed, for years, that the WFB was supposed to relieve traffic in the City of Fayetteville. After his participation in plans to build a high density development behind the hospital were revealed, he had to admit during an election forum that the WFB would not relieve traffic congestion in Fayetteville. That official was not re-elected.

After another county official publicly said that the person he nominated to serve on the Elections Board was a friend from church, it was discovered that the nominee was the county official's cousin who also serves on the Fayetteville Development Authority and also owns property that would have been in the high density development. That public official wasn't re-elected either.

It is extremely sad, but true, that some folks just can't grasp the concept that you can't have your cake and eat it, too.

Husband and Fat...
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January when it was first

January when it was first announced, SB in the AJC made a nice statement turning the WFB from lemons to lemonade.

Don Haddix
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Haddix: Ginga

You make a lot of good points. The County always had depended on the ARC for such planning. Our County and Mayoral reps were in lock step with them.

The Final TSPLOST List was approved and published in October of 2011. Remember, I had to fight to get Todd Long to add 5 projects to the list for PTC since we had none. Three made the Final List. You are correct the wording on the ballot was deliberately vague.

It isn't over by a long shot. Those that supported it are trying hard to get it to be brought back. They still support the goals of Plan 2010 and the full implementation of Plan 2040, Concept 3 and creating a Regional Government. That means the full Urbanization of Fayette with bus and rail here.

The ARC is still being given more power over local Home Rule. We are and will remain a donor County in their eyes.

When I proposed leaving the ARC for 3 Rivers the Commission and Fayetteville, Tyrone and PTC Council majorities opposed it.

I have just a couple of comments on the Stormwater issue here. This is for the readers in general. I believe you already know these things, Ginga.

The County cannot tax everyone in the County via property tax. That is double taxation and illegal regarding Fayetteville and PTC by State Law.

A Utility does not have that legal problem. The Utility is legally a fee but effectively a tax. It is confined to those receiving the service.

The SPLOST is an attempt to circumvent the double taxation problem. But it requires the citizens of the cities to be taxed as well. The hit on an average household is $200.00.

Stormwater is not roads, etc. It is Stormwater only and includes clean water and environmental requires special to its function. Every year I have to sign off on the annual report showing we are in compliance.

ginga1414
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Mr. Mayor

I did know some of the points you brought up. However, there were some I didn't know. Thanks so much for the information.

Regional Government is a huge problem for me. I believe that if 2 or 3 neighboring counties have problems they wish to solve among themselves that is wonderful. However, a regional board pushing decisions on opposing counties is the next thing to socialism.

In our Fayette County case, we had elected officials pushing ARC decisions on the taxpayers of this county. We had elected officials pretending that they were "only one voice," so why not just go along with what the ARC wanted.

Don Haddix
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Haddix: Agree Ginga

In 2010 thru 2011, at Region 3 Meetings, I proposed multiple hubs vs Atlanta as The Only Hub. As well volunteer cooperation between cities and counties regardless of Region.

A lot of Mayors approved. But not the ones backing Untie Atlanta, etc.

In fact, if you remember, that promoted the movement to get me off the Roundtable. They wanted 20-0 votes backing the TSPLOST, which they got.

You are dead on saying they believe they were and are the "only voice." They still do.

Husband and Fat...
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Mayor Haddix / Ginga

I am one of thousands of FC residents who travel to ATL every day for work. Being part of the ARC is important to me. I don't however like that we are a donor county and hope more is done to ease the commute. I don't want mass transit of any type as I do prefer the rural settings of FC.

Mr. Mayor, I am a PTC resident and I do not care for the splost being proposed by the county. I am pretty knowledgeable on the clean water act and have multiple NPDES certifications related to my career. I can honestly say that storm water fees/taxes are just the start. Pervious and impervious surfaces, farmland, livestock, pets, all play a roll. The only way to take care of it is by taxing.

Our county officials can push for the splost, but they are just passing off the problem to the next regime, just like our past leaders. My guess is they think that if we can make it 3.5 more years without a tax increase and the economy gets better they will get reelected. By then, they won't care because they will have passed the term limits they promised to envoke and by then they will hope to have fallen in with the real movers and shakers.

Don Haddix
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Haddix; Husband

I don't think you have the full picture. The ARC is our region. There is where the donor and control problems lay. That is 10 counties.

We are also in the Atlanta Metropolitan Planning Organization. That is the ARC for 18 counties, including Coweta in example. Here the ARC is the official body for transportation planning, etc. But for the non 10 ARC counties it is advisory and coordination, not mandatory.

Then there is the Non Attainment Area. This time for 28 counties, which is the MPO counties plus 10 more. This is for air quality from traffic planning. Again, outside the 10 they are advisory.

The point is you do not have to be in the ARC to have access to the ARC engineers, etc.

There is no total cure for commuting. Sorry, that is reality. But I am realistically working for some relief. Getting GDOT to see imperfections in the original 74/85 intersection plan helped. Getting them on board for ramps to 85 from Fischer will reduce Coweta traffic coming into PTC and using 74/85.

That is the PTC Mayor working with GDOT who works with the MPO to benefit PTC, Fayette and Coweta in 3 Rivers.

A true fix is getting the jobs here and I keep working on that long term goal.

On Stormwater you miss the point. We have to pay for Stormwater but before enacting any more taxes or we need to get our fiscal house in order. We can reduce spending, provide desired services, etc by having a proper Comprehensive Strategic Plan in place. But it has to be in place first. Ever increasing debt and taxes is not the answer, as I have proven in the past.

Will the economy be better in 3.5 years? Only if the cause of the problems by the Feds, etc.are fixed first. I don't see them being fixes, just band aid after band aid.

NUK_1
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This is a load of cultist thinking

First, ethics charges stand on their own or don't. The Brownies and the rest of the malcontents who have a burning hatred of goofy Horgan want to attack the person making the charges instead of the charges themselves. Once that method of attack fails, let's instead attack the ethics board itself since they didn't rule in our favor! OMG! Boooo-Hooooo!

Instead of defending your savior and attacking everyone else as instructed by The Steve Brown Playbook of Utter BS, focus instead of what he was charged with and how this isn't the first time he's been found guilty of violating a pretty simple ethics law. Then think about the FC taxpayers picking up the bill for his arrogance, again.

No, instead, it's attack, attack, attack instead of looking at the facts, which is very typical of Steve Brown himself, no matter how much dishonesty is required. His supporters follow the same exact path.

Until any of you cult of personality worshippers comment on what you think of Steve Brown's diatribe of calling you a bunch of bigots a few years ago re district voting, I'll never take anything you say seriously at all. You're all obviously ready more for the Moonies than discussing politics in FC.

yeahwhatever
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Self-serving

In the Commission meeting minutes during the Consent Agenda, Brown had this to say about dropping employee benefits to save money:

“Chairman Brown said there were no easy decisions, but that the County was in a real bind. He said the Board did not take pride in taking anything away from anybody. He said the County is in a really bad situation, and that the Board had opportunities to do things years ago when both he and Commissioner McCarty were on the Board, and those requests were voted down each time. He said the County is where it is, that the Board promised its constituents that it would provide a balanced budget, and that the County would do whatever it takes to get to the balanced budget. He said this action had nothing to do against anybody who is employed with the County, but closed saying the constituents are the number one responsibility.”

Later, when voting on reimbursement to one of their own at the expense of their constituents, the game changes and priorities are somewhat different:

“12. Consideration of Chairman Steve Brown’s request to be reimbursed for legal expenses, in the amount of $2,128.85, incurred in his defense against ethics charges filed by former County
Commissioner Robert Horgan. Chairman Brown recused himself from this discussion, turned the floor over to Vice Chairman Charles Oddo, and left the room for the entirety of this matter. Vice Chairman Oddo and Commissioner Ognio asked the public if they had any comments on this item. Commissioner Barlow said he did quite a bit of research on this item and said he talked to a number of the citizens. He said he knew what he felt in his heart, but he wanted to hear from others. He said that he had come to understand that Chairman Brown was working for the benefit of Fayette County, and that he was not pursuing something personally. He said, consequently, it made it really easy for him that the County should cover his expenses since he was working to do something that was going to involve the good of Fayette County. He said it was not a stretch for him to say he supports reimbursing Chairman Brown for his personal expenses out of pocket. Commissioner Ognio said Chairman Brown was acting in official capacity with the County, and created a situation. He said, for that reason, the Chairman should be reimbursed. Vice Chairman Oddo read a prepared statement explaining his thoughts and he concluded that he would vote in favor or reimbursing Chairman Brown’s legal expenses. Commissioner Ognio moved to reimburse Steve Brown for legal expenses in the amount of $2,128.85 incurred in his defense against ethics charges filed by former County Commissioner Robert Horgan. Commissioner Barlow seconded the motion. No discussion followed. The motion passed 3-0 with Chairman Brown being recused from the vote and Commissioner McCarty being absent.
The County Marshal brought Chairman Brown back to the meeting after the vote was taken.”

Thanks commissioners! We appreciate your willingness to make the hard decisions to take from others to save money. Maybe one day you’ll be willing to make sacrifices of your own for the good of all. Your self-serving vote cost you a lot of support. Hope it was worth the $2,128.85.

Husband and Fat...
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Setting a bad precedent

Whether or not this was a just ethics complaint is a moot point. The BOC set a very bad precedent by authorizing payment after the fact.

1. A transparent official would have notified officials and the public of his intent to be reimbursed if found not guilty. Not seek a Haddix after the fact.

2. Mr. Barlow, how exactly did this payment benefit the county?

3. Mr. Oddo, I don't understand your missive. Are you saying that an ordinance was technically violated? If not, why was there a need for legal council?

4. Mr. Ognio, oh, forget about it.

5. With all 3 agreeing to reimburse Mr. Brown they have all opened up a huge can of worms for future legal reimbursement when all is said and done, someone found guilty still is permitted to file a legal challenge to the decision.

6. Unless there is a charge of gross misconduct, the ethics hearing is nothing more than getting in trouble with the school principal over a sophomoric prank.

Since Mr. McCarty is the only person since the new year to vote against the boss, it makes people wonder the reasoning for missing this classic meeting.

Robert W. Morgan
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God and Denise have spoken - Brown gets his wife's money back

But Oddo, now there's some tortured logic. He says that if the ethics committee was properly formed (it was) and if they found Brown guilty of an ethics violation (it did - theatrics by some mayor just delayed the verdict) then he would be against reimbursing Dr. Brown for her husband's personal legal fees. But he says he has questions about the process - maybe the fact that the commission overturned the ordinance Brown was tried upon after the hearing and the verdict, although I can't see what difference that makes. I think if the ethics committee knew about the possibility of the county paying legal fees, they may have commented on that, but we will never know since Brown seemed to be representing himself at the ethics hearing and simply pulled a Haddix - albeit more openly.

I'm really disappointed in Oddo. I expected him to emerge as a leader. We don't really need any more Brown toadies up there. A 2-1 vote would have still passed, but at least I would still have some respect for Mr. Oddo.

And yes Husband and Fat, the future will have bolder violations of the ethics ordinance from a chairman (and maybe even some of the commissioners) because they all know unlimited legal fees are the newest benefit of being a commissioner. This is not an improvement over the last commission, you crusading reformers.

ginga1414
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RWM, Tell Me

How was Mr. Brown not working to protect the interests of the taxpayers when he sought legal counsel from the State Attorney General?

How was he not working to protect Fayette taxpayers when he requested an investigation into the possible theft of the taxpayers' property, namely two hard drives, a county computer, and public information?

Finally, if I am remembering correctly, you are one of the many here who said that family members should be off limits in our comments. How about sticking to the facts? Where is your reliable information concerning your comments?

Husband and Fat...
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Ginga

Your mixing up the issue. Mr. Brown directed (oops) asked a county employee to contact the attorney general to ask a question.

He violated the ordinance by giving a county employee an order, or so it seemed.

No one stated he wasn't attempting to do what's best for the county. However, he should have gone to the county administrator to make the request. Yes, heaven forbid even if he didn't admire the administrator.

He was found guilty as charged. Was it the end of the world, no. But the man has a history of bending the rules for himself and then making excuses.

Yes, the present commission, then wanted to change the rules and that is fair too. But you can't go back on the facts that at the time, he broke the rules. Why should I as a taxpayer, have to pay for Mr. Browns ego?

It's a real slippery slope allowing commission to interact with the employees. I don't care if the commission is full of honest people, in the end, something inappropriate will occur, a miscommunication perhaps, and someone will pay the price. Having that go to intermediary, is always the safer option.

ginga1414
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Husband

I guess Mr. Brown could have dismissed the fact that the interim county administrator gave the county attorney permission to remove the hard drive from taxpayer property when the county administrator didn't have the authority to do so.

I guess Mr. Brown could have dismissed the fact that the interim county administrator gave the county attorney permission to remove a taxpayer owned computer and saying the computer was being retired when the county administrator didn't have the authority to do so.

Husband, if you were in a position of witnessing possible illegal activity, would you do something about it? If the ones in authority were the ones responsible for the possible illegal activity, what would you do?

Husband and Fat...
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Ginga - My response

I never, ever said that what Krakeel or Bennett did was right. It was dead wrong.

Mr. Brown did not even know that the county administrator could not authorize the destruction of property. The county marshal discovered this during his investigation.

Mr. Brown has a personal vendetta against Mr. Bennett. I would bet you breakfast Mr. Brown was at the county bldg. waiting for the doors to open so that he could get first crack at Bennetts computer.

When are we going to investigate the computer protocols on backing up documents, retrieving information, the protocols on returning equipment when quitting, replacement, or firing? A smart leader would have made sure these were in place right after the Nov. election.

No one has ever come out and said whether or not any of Bennetts computer files were actually saved on the counties network.

I have turned in criminal activity at work and in public setting. I have no problem doing the right thing. But I also know there are procedures to follow and supporting documentation needed for justice to be served.

I am also practical. At the end of the day, what does the county expect to find? He was moonlighting on two court cases that he had permission from the county administrator to work on? How much is this witch hunt really costing and what will be the end result. Can you tell me?

AtHomeGym
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H & F & Bennett

If Atty Bennett had nothing to hide, he should have taken his computer, all w/software & hardware intact, over to Chairman Brown, dropped them on his desk and said "Here ya go Steve, knock yourself out! And then much of this would have never happened.

Husband and Fat...
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Don't disagree - AHG

A person who has nothing to hide, hides nothing.

To me, there was too much acrimony. Both hated one another and were trying to one up each other.

No one has been able to confirm or deny whether or not his work was saved on the county server. That could answer some of the questions.

ginga1414
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Husband - A Couple of Questions

Who was the county's "smart leader," or otherwise, "right after the Nov. election?"

It certainly wasn't Mr. Brown. At that point, Chairman Frady was still in power.

Do you have anything that even suggests that the county administrator gave Mr. Bennett moonlighting permission?

According to your 6th paragraph, I am assuming that if you felt your superior was involved in something that was illegal, you would ask your superior for permission to consult legal counsel based upon your superior's activity.

Husband and Fat...
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Joined: 07/23/2012
Coupla answers

There should be policies in place to save and protect information on everyones computer. All my work is saved on the company server. Boss probably knows about this too.

If I were Mr. Brown and I wanted to catch someone doing something unethical, I would have researched how work on county owned computers are saved and the protocols for turning in equipment. Not yell after the fact.

I made an assumption on the moonlighting issue. It seemed to be common practice of past bosses to allow this. Glad this was nixed.

When I was just out of college, I had a boss who was stealing from the company from a remote site. I knew it was wrong and documented. Then I contacted the owner of the company. With my documentation, he was able to fire the man, recoup the lost money and save face with a client. Not a good way to start ones career, but I did the right thing and 20+ years later am glad that I did.

Husband and Fat...
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Joined: 07/23/2012
Reimbursement

Does anyone know if any past commissioners utilized legal services for an ethics charge and then asked to be reimbursed?

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