Upland council to look at plan for new ethics code
Sandra Emerson, Staff Writer
Posted: 04/03/2011 09:22:46 AM PDT
UPLAND – The FBI’s Upland-based investigation has led to the drafting of a stricter ethics code for city officials.
The five-member City Council Advisory Committee was tasked by the City Council to look into forming a strong code of ethics.
The committee reported its recommendations to the council on March 28 and the revised code is expected to be considered next week by the council.
“Our recommendations are aimed at addressing the public perception as well as the reality that public employees or officials’ personal interests may influence a decision not in the best interest of the city,” committee member Tom Mitchell said.
The current code is an administrative policy that is weak on enforcement options, Mitchell said.
The committee has recommended implementing the code as a city ordinance, making it subject to council sanctions as well as legal consequences.
The committee also found that not all of the city’s officials were required to sign off on the ethics code. The new ordinance will apply to all elected and appointed office holders as well as city employees.
The revisions come after some alleged actions by city officials.
Former Mayor John “JP” Pomierski on March 2 was named in an 11-count indictment that accused him of conspiracy, bribery and extortion.
City Manager Robb Quincey was placed on paid leave of absence on Jan. 4 shortly after the Daily Bulletin reported a settlement he made may have stemmed from a personal dispute.
Mayor Ray Musser said this is a time when city officials need to be reminded of the codes.
“But, if you don’t live by them, you have the situation in which we’re in, so we’re attempting to correct that as quickly as possible, so I was pleased with it,” Musser said. “They’ve done their homework.”
Additionally, all appointees on the Committee and Building Appeals Board must file a statement of economic interest. Council and Planning Commission members as well as the mayor, city manager and city attorney currently are just required to file the forms.
City officials also will not be able to receive more than $420 worth of gifts in one year.
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