During the August 22nd City Council meeting the City of Dunwoody released two separate city memorandums documenting legal opinions related to conflicts of interest of elected or appointed officials. As the Dunwoody Homeowners Association also hired an attorney to review the matter they also rendered a third legal opinion which I have included here in chronological order as it is also referenced in the City's latest reply.
The first memorandum, dated June 6, 2016, is related to "Conflict of interests of officials and relationships with outsides agencies," and was submitted by City Attorneys Cecil G. McLendon and Leonid Felgin. This legal opinion was given to the City Council and City Boards and it is my personal opinion that it appears to be written with an extreme amount of caution in order to protect the city from even the appearance of undue influence.
The second memorandum, dated August 12, 2016, is related to "Conflict of Interest Relating to Dunwoody Homeowners Association Members Serving on City of Dunwoody Board, Commissions and Council," and was submitted by Seth G. Weissman. of Weissman Nowack Curry & Wilco Attorneys at Law representing the Dunwoody Homeowners Association.
The third memorandum, dated August 19, 2016, is related to "Questions from City of Dunwoody re conflicts of interest," and was submitted by Abbott S. Hayes, Jr. of Hulsey, Oliver & Mahar, LLP who the Dunwoody City Manager recommended as an outside council to have another look at the subject. Besides possible conflicts of interest, this memo also explores the question to see if the privilege of Executive Session was abused or if the calling of this closed door session was improper. This attorney believes the use of executive session was proper in this case.
I am not an attorney but I know that legal opinions are just that, opinions. Be they right or be they wrong, they are the opinions of legal training that I do not have, therefore I (as well as Council) may need to someday weigh the various opinions against levels of acceptable risk to make formal policy. Until that vote of Council happens, I believe there is no legal or ethical policy that I or anyone else related to the City is forced to follow on the subject therefore I will let my personal conscience be my guide as to what I consider an appropriate action for myself and I will need to live with my actions and/or suffer the consequences.
As such, I plan to attend as many community meetings that my busy calendar can handle to be well informed on all items that may come in front of me, including the next monthly Dunwoody Homeowners Association Meeting on September 11th and then on Monday September 12th the Dunwoody City Council meeting where I believe the Mayor will be inviting outside Dunwoody Council Mr. Abbott Hayes to publicly brief the legal advice and opinions presented in the August 19th memo written on the subject.