A while back a local, or locals, asked a state senator to have the attorney general investigate whether or not a board member of our local urban development, LCDC, corporation was in violation of conflict of interest requirements. This gentleman sits on the board of a local bank which is eligible to make bids on projects within the urban development districts.
To the casual reader it would seem that he does. Upon investigation, however, the AG's office found that yes, he was in violation of conflict of interest but could find no evidence of criminal intent nor of a prosecutable level.
The hue and cry over this has been deafening. The "open government" cadre are hailing this as a great victory. Others, including the gentleman himself, friends and colleagues, are lamenting that it even happened way beyond prudence. Letters to the editor and even columns are lauding this life long resident as the epitome of integrity and one devoted to community service.
It leads me to ask why, since he got a pass from the AG's office, are the howls still being heard, including from him! Part of the complaint is that he has a right to face his accusers. Accusers of what? Someone had a question about the relationships. That is not an accusation; merely a question. Do we not have the right to ask for an independent opinion?
Then it has been asked why the senator didn't pick up the phone and ask the bank about the relationship and pick up the phone and ask LCDC about the relationship.
Okay, herein lies the problem. If that is the mentality no wonder everyone is always at each others throats. Asking the bank and the LCDC if the relationship is above board is like asking a wife beater if he beats his wife! What do you think they're going to say?
From what I read about this gentleman and his wife, they are, indeed, pillars of the community. He needs to go quietly into the night lest more of us begin to wonder why he and his minions are protesting so much!