By Sandra Emerson, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Created: 08/15/2012 04:32:21 PM PDT

UPLAND — Councilman and mayoral candidate Gino Filippi has been accused of violating the city’s ethics code ordinance. Filippi suggested and voted for the ordinance, but now questions its legality.

Tom Mitchell, chairman of the City Council Advisory Committee, publicly accused Filippi of the violation during Monday’s council meeting.

“I believe during the July 23 council meeting Mr. Filippi broke the law. He put the city of Upland in a precarious position,” said Mitchell, the longtime campaign manager for Mayor Ray Musser, who is running for re-election in the November election.

According to the city’s Code of Ethics and Conduct, any elected official receiving more than $1,000 in campaign donations from any person, firm, corporation or associated/related group with ties to an issue up for vote by the council, must abstain from voting on the issue for one year following the date of the donation.

Filippi accepted $2,000 from the Upland Firefighters Association in May, according to his contribution forms.

He voted in favor of the association’s new employment contract in July.

“Retrospectively we (his campaign) should not have accepted the contribution in May, but rather after all items were completed with the council,” Filippi said. “We are returning the contribution and awaiting opinion from the City Attorney whether the city’s new campaign Ordinances are legal.”

The city has asked interim City Attorney Jimmy Gutierrez to look into Mitchell’s accusation and Filippi’s questioning of the ordinance’s legality.

Upland Firefighters Association President Michael Carney confirmed that Filippi has agreed to return the donation.

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