Tuesday, August 23, 2016

City of Dunwoody asks "What is a Conflict of Interest?" - get three opinions.


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.


GaryRayBetz said...

In my book a conflict of interest would be AFS-USA guardian Georgia Republican State Representative Tom Taylor driving four exchange student teenagers at 72 MPH in a 45 MPH zone while being so sloppy drunk that he blew a .225 blood alcohol content with a loaded Glock strapped to his hip then two weeks subsequent accepts a campaign donation from a liquor distributor lobbyist (see below link).

But I guess in Dunwoody ethics are measured by who you are, and not by your actions.


Bob Lundsten said...

Perfect. We now have an opinion paid for by the city and hired by the City Manqger to "investigate the possible procedural violations committed by the Mayor,, Our trusted legal team of Lenny and Squiggy The DHA has their lawyer and his opinion and nothing is settled. We have a Senator who just wants to I keep this all quiet in fear of upsetting the "new City" movements.
We do all of this DESPITE the fact that we have an ETHICS BOARD, , granted appointed by the Mayor, that is charged with doing independent investigations into possible misdeeds . A Bosard that hears the facts, witnesses testify under oath and render a decision.
Nope this is Dunwoody and maybe we hope that this will all just fade away and we can continue to believe that all is well in Shortalville