The city clerk’s ‘Double Standard’ when it comes to financial disclosures

This is what Huether submitted for his financial disclosure. City Clerk approved it saying it was ‘unintentional’ that he did not file everything. Heck, he doesn’t even list his mayoral salary.

huththt

 

This is what council candidate Bonita Schwan filed from the advice of city clerk Lorie Hogstad (Doc:  bonita-schwan_SFI)

It’s been known for a long time that city clerk, Lorie Hogstad, singled out Bonita Schwan in misleading her on her financial disclosure. Instead of just telling Bonita she could be ‘vague’ and ‘general’ in her disclosure, she asked for a detailed report. I won’t speculate why this was done, I could have a million reasons, but read the email transcripts for yourself (starting with the earliest);

From: Bonita Schwan
Sent: Monday, January 27, 2014 9:37 AM
To: Hogstad, Lorie
Subject: Re: City Council Meeting Calendar

Good Morning Lorie it is Bonita Schwan.  I was reviewing the forms in my Election Packet this weekend and had a question regarding the Statement of Financial Interest Candidate for Public Office form.  My question is specifically in regards to question number seven (on page 1) and the definition of “Nature of your association”(page 2, 3.) and “Close economic interest” (page 2, 4.(2)) and “Enterprise” (page 2,4.(3)).  For example, do I need to list municipal bond income that I received in 2013 from St.Paul Minnesota that is in excess of $2,000?  Thank you for your help
Lorie.  Bonita Schwan.

E-Mail Dated 1/29/14

Hi Bonita – My apologies for the delay in responding to your question. The answer to your question would be yes, that you would need to report the municipal bond income.  Please let me know if I can furnish any additional information.

Sincerely, Lorie Hogstad, CMC

So why wasn’t this important piece of information given to all of the other candidates? Why is it that Bonita was the only candidate that needed to be ‘unintentional’ in her disclosure?

This shows us a couple of different things. Huether plays by his own rules and the city clerk and city attorney allow him to do so. It also shows that the clerk’s office lacks consistency on implementing the rules. But they also don’t know how to write a simple ballot correctly, go figure.



9 comments ↓

#1 Derby on 04.03.14 at 5:04 pm

Saying Bonita was singled out is a bit of a stretch, but yes MMM should have been called out for his inaccurate “unintentional” report.

#2 Anonymous on 04.03.14 at 8:33 pm

“Unintentional”that he did not file everything? If the clerk reviews them all, it’s clear she let the mayor put down whatever he wanted on his and clearly held Bonita to a higher standard.
Could she be afraid of losing her job? My guess is she was told to accept the financial “as is”!

#3 teatime on 04.03.14 at 10:24 pm

She’s looking worse to me all the time. Must be pressured by someone.

#4 teatime on 04.03.14 at 10:24 pm

I meant the clerk, not the candidate.

#5 Craig on 04.04.14 at 8:48 am

Schwan asked if she needed to report municipal bond income. Hogstad replied that yes, she would need to report the municipal bond income. That is pretty much the end of the story.

Nowhere in that exchange does it say Schwan needs to list the specific dollar amount, or that she needs a detailed list of each individual bond. It merely states that she needs to list it (as income). Period. So where do you get the idea that she asked for a “detailed report” when your evidence doesn’t bear that out?

If Schwan has emails from Hogstad where that statement is made, why would Schwan not share those emails and instead share the message above that don’t support that claim?

In the messages you are showing, Hogstad didn’t call out Schwan and tell her she needed an itemized list nor did she say anything inconsistent with normal disclosure practices. Therefore how is this at all inconsistent? Yes Huether’s disclosure form is lacking and he should have at the very least included his income from the city, but there is nothing on the form or in this email exchange to suggest Schwan was being picked on or was given information that conflicts with what is documented elsewhere. There is also nothing in the law that would require a detailed list – so is Hogstad supposed to make up her own rules and make everyone turn in detailed, itemized lists even though it isn’t required?

Since we are obviously being so petty, why isn’t a guy who works in the printing industry jumping all over Schwan for using the Comic Sans font in her document? Surely that is some sort of violation right?

Are you still pretending that you are just a casual observer trying to spread the truth, or is it time to admit you have your own agenda?

#6 Dan Daily on 04.04.14 at 9:27 am

The criteria should be opposite. An incumbent should have sold and not become newly vested in city or related business. A person seeking office becomes aware of controversial interest and informed of potential conflicts of interest.

Huether (the mayor) should have to provide a detailed financial statement and 4 years tax returns. A lesser office new candidate can provide basic information. If there’s a conflict, it must be relinquished within 10 days after the oath of office.

I’m not comfortable with the city clerk making ethics decisions. This matter is sound evidence that there should be an ethics complaint against her.

#7 Dan Daily on 04.04.14 at 9:36 am

If the city clerk is trying to appease Huether, there will be a serious ethics dismissal she faces after the election from Staggers, Anderson, & the 3 new councilors. If Jamison is elected, he’ll join them and she’ll be gone 7 days after the election. She should have realized she was gone either way if she didn’t stand up against Huether. See ya. Try for a call center job.

Now, about the city attorney?

#8 Typo Graphic on 04.04.14 at 10:25 am

“Since we are obviously being so petty, why isn’t a guy who works in the printing industry jumping all over Schwan for using the Comic Sans font in her document? Surely that is some sort of violation right?”

LOL
ROTFLMAO

#9 l3wis on 04.04.14 at 12:42 pm

Craig, my point is very simple. All the candidates should have had to follow the same instruction as Schwan, and as city clerk, Hogstad should have told each candidate when they brought their paperwork in that it would have to be filled out properly. That is her job.