UPDATE: David Z will be asking the Sioux Falls Ethics Commission on Tuesday to investigate the widespread bribery in elected city officials

UPDATE: As I predicted, the Ethics Board slithered their way out of doing their job by saying they didn’t define the word ‘common’ very well. You can’t make this crap up. I was waiting for Bill Clinton to pop out of the back and say, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” A video of the meeting will be posted soon.

The meeting on June 8 at 1:30 PM will review David’s complaint. Basically when the city council let Councilor Neitzert get away with taking a bribe (and also the Mayor) they said that these kind of gifts were common practice and the council needed to tighten up the rules. David is asking them to investigate these bribes if this so widespread. It will be interesting to hear how they worm their way out of this one.

On a separate note, the complaint filed against Neitzert was appealed by the Complainant and is still pending.



18 comments ↓

#1 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 06.05.21 at 2:34 pm

Zombies are known to enjoy the grey matter of the unethical mind. Because the absence of a victim with a conscience allows for them to be further fueled with a vile rage without the impediment of any mental decency.

#2 Mike Lee Zitterich on 06.05.21 at 4:07 pm

Where do you draw the line between “Lobbying” your legislative representative by dining, entertainment, and holding public meetings to push agenda, to pass a resolution, a new law or ordinance? What if a concerned citizen and/or business wanted to pay for, and host a legislator, or a group of legislators, which ‘we’ have a 1st Amendment Right to do so, in order to update, educate, inform, or to lobby for a specific thing, object, act, or rule?

Do ‘we’ not as citizens have the right to hold such events, to bring forth legislative persons together, and to pay for and provide the time, place, location thereof?

If I wanted to meet with my “representative” or the “mayor” and I wanted to hold such occurrence at say, Frying Pan – and I pay for, pick the tab, does this go against “City Ordinance” let alone the charter?

Asking for a Friend.

#3 D@ily Spin on 06.05.21 at 4:31 pm

It’ll get tabled and eventually go away. Ethics hearings are rigged more than council votes. It’s the fox watching the hen house except it’s a pack of wolves. Just watch. The media will ignore this. Like most city hearings, it didn’t happen. It’s gonna take federal intervention.

#4 l3wis on 06.05.21 at 5:17 pm

Funny, last I checked, a representative government is supposed to represent all of us, not just the guy who bought them a panhandler at the pan.

#5 Mike Lee Zitterich on 06.05.21 at 11:22 pm

Well..if the panhanlder at the pan was utilized in a responsible and timely fashion, there is no reason NOT to reiumburse a legislative representative for making a trip across town to visit with you about your ideas, thoughts, and information gathering. Not like a $20 dollar meal is going to pass legislation. I mean, they have the right to reclaim your “costs” of travel to visit with constituents.

#6 The Guy From Guernsey on 06.06.21 at 7:35 am

MLZ,
For a government employee/political officeholder, the legitimate claim to reclaim costs of travelling to visit constituents would be a voucher claim for mileage reimbursement from the Department with which they are associated (if mileage reimbursement is included in the terms of employment or for the office to which one is elected). Any meal, even if from the fast food Dollar Menu, should be paid by the employee/officeholder, with reimbursement (similar to mileage).

AFA hosting a group of legislators/office holders. Are you also aware of quorum rules in which a gathering of a defined number of officeholders must be considered an official meeting of the governing body? Advance public notice of the meeting is required. The meeting then must be open to the public.

#7 The Guy From Guernsey on 06.06.21 at 8:05 am

Unfortunately (and despite that there are new appointees to the Ethics Board) nothing will come of this.
Jack Marsh remains as Chair of the Ethics Board. He has already demonstrated that he doesn’t have the fortitude to address a breach of ethic conduct, even as the board which he leads identifies and reports a lapse in ethics.
Defer. Postpone. Then pass the buck.
Not certain the kind of newspaperman was Jack Marsh back in the day, but relative to tackling present day challenges to ethical conduct of government, he simply has no game.

#8 D@ily Spin on 06.06.21 at 9:28 am

It’s more than travel expenses. Huether left office a multi-millionaire on a $100K mayors salary. What’s important here is that corrupt councilors are identified so they can’t get re-elected. It’s nice for honest people to know who not to do business with. David Z is on to something. Bringing the bad ones to ethics hearings is a good way to get them labeled so they’re not re-elected or run for higher office.

#9 Mike Lee Zitterich on 06.06.21 at 2:31 pm

I am fully aware of a quorum rules, as I have helped play a roll in hosting them, but we are discussing private one and one informational meetings directly with individuals, a group of property holders, landowners, business leaders who wish to lobby and hold informational gatherings privately to discuss public policy with their “individual representation, let alone a group of legislative members. “THEY” host them, provide the cost of such gatherings, and have the right to compenstate a legislative member for his/her travel to and from a private function. To restrict this, would violate “your first amendment protected right” to do so.

I also believe, for when the matter becomes more public, and where necessary, you then go out, seek to petition the people, mainly the landowners, property holders of a select land area in order to hold such “Quorum” necessary to hold a public informational meeting, where the public may appoint a “membership” to hold such public meeting of the minds.

The constitution does NOT define the process of lobbying your legislative representatives, you simply have the right to address them both in private or as a public quorum where necessary, and where that policy is to effect a large base of the population.

IF, you, or myself, or anyone wanted to pay for, and invite a legislative member to your property with the intent to talk about an issue, the property, let alone policies that effect your property, you do have the right to compensate them for their ‘travel’ expenses.

In fact, I am a firm believer a legislative rep should have a salary, such as the $20,000 we pay the city council chairs, they simply should be ‘compensated’ for time away from their main job, their residence, where ‘we’ ask them to meet in that quorum.

#10 The Guy From Guernsey on 06.06.21 at 4:04 pm

MLZ,
This isn’t about my right (or your right) to compensate a government official for their travel expenses.
It is about the obligation of the government official to decline to accept any offer of compensation outside of that provided the result of their employment (per diem, salary, expense reimbursement).

#11 Mike Lee Zitterich on 06.08.21 at 10:25 am

You all are for your 1st Amendment Right until one of your so called “legislative representatives” meet with private people, businesses, to hold private functions as they relate to the activity or private person. I get it.

Also, how do you define “Corruption” – you claim a specific City Councilor took a ‘bribe’ to travel to a select place, time, and event, but you cannot prove he was corrupted by the ‘education’ or literature he received. The way I see it, “HE” used it to help himself understand “policy”. How is this considered “Corruption”?

What is wrong with the “legislative representative’s” Home District raising monetary funds to send their own “REP” to such places, to gain information that is beneficial to the “District”?

IF you reside in the Northeast District, would you not want to raise monetary funds to send your “REP” to places such as Texas, California, Dallas, let alone Pierre to gain information, to educate your rep on different means, that could be seen as beneficial to your “district” ??

After all – this is a protected ‘right’ in the First Amendment, and you progressives sure seem to defend that amendment very much … I guess until it goes against your so agendas and desires. hmm….

This is almost along the same FIRST AMENDMENT lines as you Progressives speak against “CORPORATIONS” having the right to lobby or raise money, or form associations for political reasons…but yet, you progressives sure have NO PROBLEM with “LABOR UNIONS doing the same as the corporations.

Excuse me, but I do not think you can have it both ways.

#12 l3wis on 06.08.21 at 2:39 pm

Unions are not elected officials that represent the public and paid by the public. They represent the union.

#13 Mike Lee Zitterich on 06.09.21 at 12:01 am

LABOR UNIONS organize “WORKERS” charging them Membership Duties, while a good portion are used to LOBBY and PAY “Legislative Representatives”

CORPORATIONS are organized “Corporate Persons” who invest in the corporation, while a portion of their revenues are used to LOBBYT and PAY “Legislative Representatives”

–> Both fund Political Campaigns, Both fund Politicians, Both Fund Private Parties hosting “legislative representatives”

BOTH have a “First Amendment Right” to do so…

What is common practice for one, is common practice for the other. Hence – I am still waiting for the supposed “illegal activity” that the accused was charged with.

#14 throw the bums out on 06.09.21 at 8:23 am

mlz–anyone can meet with an elected public official. it’s when you pay them to meet with you is where the problem lies.
this has nothing to do with the 1st amendment and everything to do with paying for influence. if you want to give the mayor a political donation for meeting with you, ok. if you want to give him food, lodging and maybe a bag of cash, that is not ok. most of our council, in my opinion, is or has been corrupted in some manner. that should be obvious even to you mike.

#15 D@ily Spin on 06.09.21 at 10:43 am

Let’s simplify. Politics has become organized crime with monetary focus. Political contributions and bribes are for special consideration and protection. Democracy gets lost in this process. The general population is not represented when but a few are favored. Although elections are manipulated it’s still the only means for public intervention. Yet, there’s no transparency and we let the criminals kiss our babies. Honestly, I have more respect for Pablo Escobar. He lived in luxury yet he also provided for the public. His means was from foreign profit. From people who deserved their habit.

#16 Mike Lee Zitterich on 06.09.21 at 11:32 am

There is NO LAW that would stop me or anyone else for that matter from picking up a bar tab, a diner tab, or any tab where we meet to discuss the course of events to be taken tomorrow.

#17 seriously, throw them out on 06.09.21 at 3:32 pm

mlz-we’re not talking about a law dude. we’re talking about ethics. there is a difference. and, by the way, we’re not talking about what you do, we’re talking about what elected, taxpayer paid, officials do. big difference.

#18 EastCosseter on 06.13.21 at 2:49 pm

I think MLZ is saying that the council has every right to restrict the masses to commenting through official channels like public input while providing fast and private lanes for folks who provide them first class junkets. Basically a “Pay To Be Heard” scheme. It is a simple trade – you either pay to be heard and your “deal” kept private or you join the great unwashed and limit speaking time to the prescribed topics and time frame. It is an interesting question as to whether the purpose, or result, of making public commenting more difficult was to increase the number of junkets being offered. It is an interesting question as to how much of what is discussed at Pay To Be Heard is topics which need to be kept private like Pay To Play. Some federal agencies require a public statement of the substance of any private meeting to be filed to a public file after the private meeting.