Thursday, April 5, 2012

Allen Johnson: "The mayor might want to step away from this"

"at the very least to avoid the appearance of a conflict."

"(a) public servant...authorized to perform an official action
requiring the exercise of discretion,
shall participate in an official action by the employing entity
if the public servant
...may incur a reasonably foreseeable financial benefit
...which financial benefit would impair
the public servant's independence of judgment
or from which it could reasonably be inferred
that the financial benefit
would influence the public servant's participation in the official action.

...(c) A public servant shall take appropriate steps, remove himself or herself to the extent necessary,
to protect the public interest
...from any proceeding in which the public servant's impartiality
might reasonably be questioned
due to the public servant's familial, personal, or financial relationship
with a participant in the proceeding.

§ 138A‑36. Public servant participation in official actions.

"(e1) A member of the board or any other body
exercising quasi‑judicial functions
...shall not participate in or vote
on any quasi‑judicial matter in a manner
that would violate affected persons' constitutional rights
to an impartial decision maker.

Impermissible conflicts include, but are not limited to,
a member having a fixed opinion
prior to hearing the matter that is not susceptible to change,
undisclosed ex parte communications, a close familial, business,
or other associational relationship with an affected person,
or a financial interest in the outcome of the matter.

If an objection is raised to a member's participation
and that member does not recuse himself or herself,
the remaining members shall by majority vote rule on the objection.

§ 160A‑388.

"Any officer, department head or employee who has financial interest,
direct or indirect,
in any proposed contract with the city
or in a proposed sale of any land, material, supplies, or services
to the city or to a contractor supplying the city,
shall make known that interest
 and shall refrain from voting upon
or otherwise participating in the making of such contract or sale.

Any officer, department head, or employee
 who willfully conceals such a financial interest
or willfully violates the requirements of this Section
shall be guilty of malfeasance in office or position
and shall forfeit his office or position.

Violation of this Section
with the knowledge expressed or implied
of the person or corporation contracting with or making a sale to the city
shall render the contract void."

Sec. 4.131. - Conflict of interest: Greensboro Code of Ordinances, City Charter


Lex Alexander said...

The law doesn't speak to appearances, just direct or indirect financial benefit. Not knowing all the facts of this particular question, I don't know how that effects Robbie's obligation. But if he has a direct or indirect financial benefit, he's legally obligated to abstain; otherwise, he's legally obligated to vote.

Anonymous said...

for what it's worth- if our mayor represents carroll as a leasing/listing agent he stands to earn $ from any real estate transaction present or future, most likely after sewer and water $ is spent.If our mayor is partner with carroll in any LLC then he should recuse himself...not abstain but recuse himself- Now noise for example...if the condo letter is real, and its states that they can't sell condos because of noise, it can be argued than lack of noise will sell condos and that our mayor will make $ off of the lack of noise. One could also argue that our mayor may fear of losing jobs based upon vote-one could argue too many things for this to be healthy