Entries Tagged 'Ethics' ↓

UPDATE II: Sioux Falls Board of Ethics Meeting, Oct 6, 2020

UPDATE II: So one interesting thing I learned from the video was that the 170+ page document that was presented to the council during Nutzert’s hearing was actually given to the City Clerk several days before the hearing. Brekke questioned why they received the document that night right before the meeting instead of in advance. BOE Chair Jack Marsh defended that position and said they prepared the packets for the council immediately several days before the hearing and gave them to City Clerk Greco to give to the Council, and it was within Greco’s jurisdiction NOT the BOE’s to give them to the council. Which is true.

I asked a couple people in the know this afternoon why Greco did not pass it on to the councilors in advance. In fact, I guess, Greco intended to do so and even wanted to post the docs in advance online in SIRE but he needed (or thought he needed) permission from the outside counsel the city hired to handle the hearing before he could do it . . . wondering why that permission wasn’t granted?

I have asked a couple of city councilors to look into why the information wasn’t presented to the council and the public in advance.

This whole adventure was so sloppy and corrupt, you wonder how our city government can even function at all.

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I did not attend today’s meeting because it was at 9 AM on a Tuesday morning, real convenient for the public to show up – NOT. So all I can tell you is what I heard briefly from those who attended;

I guess the Board of Ethics determined that Councilor Brekke assisting constituents with navigating the Charter was well within her rights and duties as a councilor (Duh!)

I guess David Zokaites’ question about supplying evidence was pretty much blown off because Neitzert told the BOE that city employees take trips all the time. Which is interesting, since this complaint was against an ELECTED official and NOT a city employee. That was the main reason the first complaint was dismissed.

I guess we will know more after the video and minutes are released.

Reverberations from the Greg Neitzert Board of Ethics impeachment ruling

Guest Post-Cameraman Bruce

The reverberations from the Greg Neitzert Board of Ethics impeachment ruling is still causing waves in the Board of Ethics schedule. On Tuesday, October 6th, 2020 at 9:00am, of course at a time where few can attend, there are two Ethics requests. Remember, Greg Neitzert was impeached (or indicted) by the Board of Ethics probable cause letter sent to the City Council causing the recent quasi-judicial hearings by the body.

AGENDA LINK

The first ethics agenda item is an advisory request from City Council member Janet Brekke. Brekke is asking for clarity in the accusations leveled at her by the impeached Greg Neitzert. If you remember, Neitzert claimed John Cunningham had compromised her when he asked Brekke (a former city attorney) for clarity on the ethics process since the Board of Ethics and the city attorney refused to explain the process and their decision to him.

Brekke, like all city council members are able to assist their constituents where possible. Come to think of it, if they do not assist their constituents, then what good are they?

During the process, the soon to be impeached Neitzert sent ex parte communications to council members, attorneys and the Board of Ethics members in efforts to sway their actions and besmirch the integrity of Brekke and Cunningham. There should be another ethics complaint against Neitzert for this attempt to improperly attack Brekke. You notice in the packet, a threatening email from Neitzert, sent to Brekke and Pat Starr, promising retribution, as council chair, if they did not recuse themselves from the process.

How stupid is the impeached Sioux Falls City Council Chair Greg Neitzert? He is making some sort of threats of retribution against other members of the panel and letting the members of the Board of Ethics in on his plan? What is ethical or where is integrity in his planned attack?

The second agenda item on the BOE agenda is a REQUEST FOR INVESTIGATION (attachment 3) filed by David Zokaities. Zokaities is asking the Board to investigate and release the evidence, with all information, the Board found to make their statement in the Sioux Falls Board of Ethics’ Report on complaint 20-B and recommendations to City Council:

c. The Board finds other incidents of past travel by City officers for which a third party paid expenses. While the Board did not thoroughly investigate or determine the full extent of such practices by City officers or officials, the practice appears to be common. The Board did not determine whether attendance at any prior event(s) was specifically improper.

Zokaities is now asking the Board to do their job, to finish the investigation, they alluded to and expose the violations. If the city officials and staff are making secret trips, we the public must know how they are using their positions to possibly corrupt our government. Are they getting more illegal free trips? Are they getting more illegal free meals? Are they getting boats parked in their driveways or Rolex watches for doing their gifters work? We don’t know since our administration was hired by the people in 2018 by promising transparency. If it was happening before 2018, we also need to know. The Board made the accusation in writing, so let’s see the evidence and then, let the prosecutions begin?

If a librarian can’t accept a meal or honorarium to serve on a national board, the cops could not receive discount gift cards or the Planning Director had to give up his conflicting corporate advisory position in recent BOE hearings, then we must know who is taking 3rd party paid for trips or meetings. If the officials are not taking the trips, then the BOE must clarify what they are talking about.

No evidence related to this statement was released to the public or Council to complete the Council’s impeachment process. There is a gap in public knowledge. If city officials who are elected, appointed or staff are making illegal trips, we the public have a right to know. The impeached Neitzert in his only “report” to the council was an email sent while at the meeting proudly told of the group’s mission on certain issues. Funny thing is, he never let anyone know what he was going to attempt to do on the group’s behalf. Zokaities wants to know as we all do, what Neitzert and the rest of the “offending” city elected, appointed or staff have been doing.

Sioux Falls does not have any other method to find out this information. The Board and Council has been derelict in their duties up to this point to tell who and what they were accusing the get to this answer. Who and where are they traveling using the city credentials they have been secretly using.

The Board of Ethics and the Sioux Falls City Council have, through these recent actions, shown we might as well shut down the public’s right to know and also hold the officials responsible for their actions. Shame on them and shame on us for letting this happen.

Thank you to Janet Brekke and David Zokaities for helping the rest of us clarify the issues raised in the impeachment of Greg Neitzert. The public must show up, if even to just listen and watch. These meetings seem to always be at a time few people can attend. By showing up we let the Board know we care about the corruption possibilities this entire scheduling process and the resulting decisions create.

Censored images from Sioux Falls City Councilor Neitzert’s Dismissal meeting

Cameraman Bruce added the images the city would not show on their video during public input.

Sioux Falls had an impeachment of a government official. This is the first time it has ever happened in Sioux Falls and maybe South Dakota. What is impeachment? According to Wikipedia: Impeachment is the process by which a legislative body levels charges against a government official. Impeachment does not in itself remove the official definitively from office; it is similar to an indictment in criminal law, and thus it is essentially the statement of charges against the official. In the Sioux Falls Home Rule Charter, the body charged with determining the impeachable offense is the Board of Ethics. The Board of Ethics found probable cause Greg Neitzert committed a crime against the people he was supposed to be representing and the government he was to protect. Greg Neitzert was impeached. The Board of Ethics found Greg Neitzert had ethical lapses requiring a hearing before the City Council to determine the punishment. Impeachment is a political answer to a political crime with the greatest punishment being removal from office. The Council stopped just short of a punishment because apparently the five who voted “for” him decided to hide their involvement in similar? Is our missing mayor off traveling somewhere, also doing so under similar circumstances? Neitzert’s chutzpah is astounding. That he could take a trip paid for by a lobbyist group and think he was doing Sioux Falls a favor. How many could take a trip paid for by a group trying to overthrow our form of government and think it was alright? Robert Kolbe said it right in his short public input on September 28th, 2020, Neitzert is the orphan. Now Neitzert is panhandling to collect money from his handlers and protectors to cover his errors in judgment. That’s chutzpah. An interesting thing happened during the public input, the controllers of the video exhibits decided to leave out Bruce Danielson’s exhibits from the CityLink broadcast. They are included in this video. Remember one important thing from Neitzert’s ethical lapse; Greg Neitzert likely is the first person in South Dakota to be impeached. What a mark in history. Thanks Greg for the history lesson, you will be forever remembered for this lapse. The Neitzert impeachment of 2020, that’s chutzpah.

Sioux Falls City Councilor Selberg votes for alternative non-dismissal of Neitzert

Alternative Dismissal

Tonight at the Findings of Fact special meeting of the Sioux Falls city council, Councilor Brekke offered an alternative resolution (above) of NOT dismissing Neitzert, but also not punishing him. After Councilor Starr seconded the motion, himself, Brekke and Selberg voted for it, which was a reversal of what Selberg voted for at the end of the original hearing.

Not sure why?

I thought at first maybe he misunderstood the vote (he was attending the meeting via phone), but I am not sure that was the case, because he paused and sighed before voting for it (which tells me he supported it) after it failed in a 3-4 vote, Selberg did vote for the dismissal, Brekke and Starr did not.

If Selberg needed clarity on the amendment he could have asked for it before the vote, he did not, he also could have rescinded it immediately after the vote or even at the end of the meeting, he did not. I’m curious what his change of heart was?

Maybe it was my testimony? LOL. In which I pointed out that throughout the findings it is clear he violated the ordinance. So why the dismissal? Never did get any discussion from the entire council on why they felt a dismissal was appropriate and we likely never will.

But there was also a strange moment in which Councilor Neitzert’s wife testified. I won’t disparage her, I’m sure it’s not easy being in her position, and I sympathize with her, I also wonder how many times she has asked Greg to just accept what he did and move on.

But she made a reference to people on Facebook questioning their family life, finances and even marriage. Whoaaa! I had never heard this.

Listen folks, while Greg did violate the ordinance, this wasn’t a capital offense, I even said in my testimony that he doesn’t deserve punishment, just accept what you did and apologize.

Sometimes politics can get personal, but this action by Greg wasn’t personal, it was just an ethics violation of city law. Pretty black and white.

Either the majority of the council who voted to dismiss this is really corrupt or really freaking stupid.

I’m guessing both.

Sioux Falls City Councilor Neitzert’s dismissal contradictions

On Monday, September 28, Greg will have his final hearing or findings of fact. This ‘dismissal’ by the majority of the council has many contradictions in it. Of course, this should be NO surprise. The city council has a track record of telling the public one thing, then voting the opposite way when they hope no one is watching.

While they do ‘dismiss’ Greg in the resolution, they also point out how he violated ordinance. It’s almost like they are saying ‘Yeah, he’s guilty, but it’s not a big deal.’ They also show NO evidence of political collusion or that the event Greg attended was NOT partisan. This has to be one of the strangest dismissals I have ever seen.

Let’s review the finer points;

The Board of Ethics dismissed Complaint 20A indicating that it did not have jurisdiction to proceed as the Complaint alleged a violation of Sioux Falls City Ordinances relating to the conduct of city officials and employees, not council members.

The Board of Ethics did not advise Cunningham of the process for completing the complaint to bring it within the jurisdiction of the Board of Ethics.

The BOE could have made a motion at that meeting to cite the proper chapter. If they would have, the confidentiality of the matter would have remained. Instead by throwing out that initial complaint because of a simple citing error, this happened;

After Complaint 20A was dismissed, Cunningham turned over his records about Complaint 20A to the media despite his obligation to keep the information confidential.

While he did have an obligation to keep it confidential, it was only a matter of timing. Because once the BOE approved the minutes of the meeting, John still could have went to the media. He just did it earlier then he should have, or let’s say was instructed to. I also must point out that John may have a 1st Amendment right to say whatever he wants to. First, because the matter was thrown out and over with, and John is just a regular citizen and NOT an elected official. After the complaint was thrown, he had NO obligation to confidentiality minutes or no minutes.

In my opinion, it was the BOE who blew Greg’s cover. Like I said, they could have made a motion to correct the citing during the meeting, and moved on with the proceedings. By throwing it out based on a technicality, they created the issue of keeping this confidential. But throughout this whole show trial, they continually tried to attack John’s character with little to know evidence that he was some kind of political operative with an axe to grind. As John explained, he did have an axe to grind, he wants our elected officials to act with integrity and ethics.

By letter dated August 26, 2020, the Board of Ethics responded to the City Council indicating that it stood by its original report and that the Council should review the report and city ordinances.

In other words, they found the complaint had merit and should be reviewed by the council. It wasn’t baseless, frivolous or a political attack. It was a possible violation of city ordinance (BTW, it was, but we will get to that in a moment).

Neitzert’s trip was paid for by Community Leaders of America.

The conference participants were limited to Mayors and Council Members who were registered Republicans.

As you can see, the trip was 1) paid for by a political lobbying group and 2) it was a ‘partisan’ event. These are clear FACTS.

So kids, this is why it was a violation of city ordinance;

City Ordinance 35.053(e) provides that a city council member shall not “directly or indirectly solicit any gift, or accept any gift whether in the form of money, services, loan, travel, entertainment, hospitality, thing or promise, or any other form, under circumstances in which it could reasonably be inferred that the gift was intended to influence, or could reasonably be expected to influence the officer, in the performance of their official duties, or was intended as a reward for any official action…”

That last part is important, it doesn’t matter if Greg decided to implement policy from what he learned at the conference, it matters because he should not have gone and been influenced in the first place. But some of these statements in the findings have you scratching your head a little bit;

Neitzert notified the City Council by email dated October 17, 2019, that he was attending the conference at no expense to the City.

So why did councilor Neitzert decide to send the council this (NON CONFIDENTIAL) email on the 2nd day of the conference? Why didn’t he tell them a day before he left or a day after he returned? And why didn’t he mark the email as confidential? This question was NEVER answered. As someone said to me, ‘Greg was trying to cover his a**’ and by not asking it to be confidential (even though legally cannot ask for it to be because by using his official city email, it becomes a public document) he knew that it would be leaked to the public and media. But like I just said, you can’t leak something that isn’t legally confidential. Notice there is NO mention of this supposed ‘leaked’ email in the findings. Because it was irrelevant.

No Council Members questioned or complained about Neitzert’s attendance at the conference.

Which proves that councilors Starr and Brekke were NOT colluding with Greg’s opponent. They both could have taken that email and filed a complaint themselves. They did not. No collusion.

Neitzert was not expected to implement policies or vote on issues in a manner consistent with the ideologies of the conference’s sponsoring organization or the conference corporate sponsors.

Neitzert was not asked to vote on a particular issue in a particular manner as a “quid pro quo” for attending the conference.

Neitzert’s attendance at the conference was not intended to influence any issue or matter before the Sioux Falls City Council.

I would say that these three findings are blatantly UNTRUE based on the fact that NO evidence was presented of the contrary. Neitzert has yet to tell the public or the city council either orally or written what he learned at this paid for partisan event. The mayor and former deputy chief of staff have also never told the public what they ‘learned’ at this event. We have no idea if Greg or the Mayor has worked on policies or voted for policies that are pushed by this partisan organization. All we have is Greg’s sworn testimony, hardly a legal precedence to lean on.

The Board of Ethics did not prove by clear and convincing evidence that Neitzert violated Ordinance 35.053(e) and the Complaint 20B should accordingly be dismissed.

The BOE didn’t have to ‘prove’ anything, all they said was there was ‘probable cause’ for the city council to look into it and hold a hearing. The irony of this is that I sat directly behind the Chair of the BOE, Mr. Jack Marsh and their appointed attorney throughout the hearing, and I saw Jack repeatedly lean into counsel and whisper remarks with a grin on his face, and rarely a look of concern. It almost seemed he was amused by the proceedings. Trust me, I had some laughable moments, but mostly because of the incompetence in the way the hearing was being conducted by the chair. Further proof this was a Kangaroo Kourt from the beginning. If Mr. Marsh had some jokes to tell us, maybe he could have waited for recess to tell us them by the swing set?

Folks, it’s all there in black and white, it was a paid for partisan trip meant to influence Mr. Neitzert (and the mayor). His legal counsel never proved otherwise, neither did the BOE’s counsel. Greg clearly violated ordinance, and his 5 best friends dismissed it and they were so sloppy and sophomoric about the way they dismissed it, they further proved he violated it in these findings. The are basically saying in the findings that Greg violated X, Y and Z, but it is okay because Greg has never told us what he ‘learned’. It would be like me fighting a speeding ticket in court and the judge dismissing it after he asked me, “Mr. Ehrisman were you speeding?” and my defense is, “I don’t know your honor, I wasn’t looking at the speedometer I was looking at the road in front of me.”

Sioux Falls City Councilor Greg Neitzert’s ‘findings of fact’ hearing

It will be at 6 PM on Monday (Sep 28)

Mayor TenHaken implementing an Executive Order that benefits bureaucrats over citizens

In Paul’s latest fiddling with his extreme hatred for transparency, he changed an executive order which basically shortens up the time the public knows about an ordinance change, YET requires the council to give more advance notice to city directors about their intentions.

Once again Paul is nosing around in the legislative branch and telling them how they will legislate. While I’m okay with giving the city directors more time to mull over changes, we should also be extending the time citizens know about an issue.

I also think that this should be a decision made by the city council, NOT by executive order.

The city council doesn’t work for city directors and the mayor, they work for the citizens, this is why we elect them. But it has been evident, almost since the Home Rule Charter was founded that the city council does the bidding of the mayor and directors and has never turned down an opportunity to put more rules, more fees and more taxes on the citizens. I implore anyone who can show me when the city council has deregulated/eliminated ordinances or cut taxes and fees since this form of government was implemented in the 90’s. If you can, I’ll buy you a beer (or two).

This is the problem with the form of government we have now in Sioux Falls. It is setup so the directors form policy while the RS6 approves those policies that benefit the banksters and developers in town, while more regulations and taxes get levied on the rest of us.

This ‘little change’ is just another way of hiding city business from the citizens. And what it really is about is a deep hatred for sunshine and openness in our local government, and like covid, it will be hard to cure this deep sickness at city hall.

Sioux Falls (ethically challenged) City Councilor Neitzert panhandling for legal fees

No wonder the city council won’t pass stiffer panhandling ordinances in Sioux Falls, they are doing it themselves;

Although I have finally cleared my name, I really haven’t “won”. My family has been put through a lengthy emotional ordeal, and we have an enormous legal bill, which we are personally liable for. My attorneys were amazing and I will be forever grateful for their representation, and they deserve to be paid.

It always feels weird asking for money…however – Legal fees related to an elected official’s public service are qualified campaign expenses. Therefore, I can pay some of this bill through my campaign account. To the extent I do not have campaign funds available, we will be paying this bill personally. If you donate to my campaign account, Greg Neitzert for City Council, it will be used primarily for this expense, and in the off chance there is any excess to support good, positive, and principled candidates in the next city election cycle for City Councilors and Mayor. If you would like to support me, this is a great way to do it. I truly appreciate those who have supported me and encouraged me through this process and over the last 4 years. Your messages of support have meant the world to me.

I could certainly go on for a long time about the hypocrisy and irony of asking for money for legal fees after receiving a paid for partisan political trip, but you are smart, humorous folks, you get it. But this statement is rich;

I will only say that as currently constituted the ethics process is ripe for weaponization and abuse to influence elections and to hurt good people, and it must be reformed. All elected officials and future candidates are at risk in the absence of reform.

Greg continues to believe this was a political attack but the facts of the hearing don’t support it. I watched the entire circus, here is what was presented;

• Greg could never prove that the ethics complaint ‘harmed’ his reelection. Not only did he win, he beat his opponent handily.

• When asked during the hearing what collusion was taking place, and to present evidence there was a connection between his opponent and John Cunningham, all he could do is stare at his shoes. Sure, Pat forwarded a public email to John, and Pat and Janet endorsed his opponent (which the Board of Ethics said was protected free speech under the 1st Amendment). Oh and they had the envelope of a Thank You card from Pat to John, but zero evidence that John was working with his opponent, in fact John denied it, and he should, because it NEVER happened and zero evidence was presented. Just steam rising from a turd.

• While mountains of evidence was presented during the hearing that this was a partisan Republican event, Greg played dumb dumb and called it a ‘policy event’. Sure, Republican policies. Greg, you do understand what partisan means? Don’t you? Playing doofus doesn’t change the fact that it was clearly a partisan event. What does that have to do with this ‘weaponization’ you keep talking about? Nothing. Distractions.

• The only reason your ‘5 best friends’ dismissed this is because they knew the Mayor was next. I hate to say it Greg, but you should choose your friends better. They only bailed out your sorry butt because they didn’t want to bail water on the TenTantic.

No matter what you think of Greg as a councilor, the facts were clear, he went to a partisan event, paid for by partisans, and tried to kill the messenger with this made up story about collusion, even though it was well within Pat and Janet’s rights to endorse his opponent and well within John’s right to file an ethics complaint. And why did John file the complaint!? Because Greg was clearly guilty.

The only collusion that happened was between Greg, the mayor and his fellow rubberstampers. No worries Greg, it’s only a flesh wound.

What did we learn from Sioux Falls City Councilor Neitzert’s Ethics Hearing?

There was certainly a coordinated attack going on Thursday night, but it wasn’t on Greg, it was on Mr. Cunningham, and Councilors Brekke and Starr.

I was able to review some of the 170+ page document that suddenly appeared the night of the hearing (a copy of the document was never given to Mr. Cunningham or his attorney before that night, NOW that’s integrity and ethics folks!). There are some pretty astonishing accusations.

They believe John breached his confidentiality because he told the media after the first complaint was thrown out who and what it was about. But John never talked to the media about the case when he filed his 2nd complaint.

Sure the Argus, my blog and councilor Starr said who it ‘may’ be (because it was pretty damn obvious after the first complaint got thrown out that John would probably refile with the proper ordinance). But John himself never breached the the confidentiality of the second complaint.

This is what has surprised me through this whole thing, Greg knew we would all know it is him after the first one was thrown out, so why hide it from the public? Sure he has that right (which I don’t agree with, because I think complaints against public officials should be public) but how ignorant do you look when 99% of people following the matter already have made the assumption it is Greg. We can argue all day whether what Greg did was unethical or not, but keeping it confidential only prolonged the process and the speculation and actually cost taxpayers well over probably $10K.

There was also some mention in the documents I reviewed that they were going to make an attempt to try to force John to pay the legal fees of the city and Neitzert. I don’t think they can pursue that now since the BOE did determine probable cause to investigate.

But what is most troublesome is the demonization of Starr, Brekke and private citizen John Cunningham, who were all pointing out the obvious, Greg took a trip paid for by a Partisan group. Though Greg denies it’s partisanship, throughout the hearing evidence was presented on the contrary. It was a Republican event. They didn’t invite councilors, commissioners and mayors from the Democratic party. That is what makes it partisan. Greg essentially stood at the podium and lied while pretending to be oblivious of the fact that this WAS a partisan event. To heck with the possible violation itself, he should be punished on the grounds of lying during his hearing. He also attempted to lie about it being a political attack and when asked to present evidence, he stared at his shoes and shuffled paper. I ask the simple question; How is John, Janet and Pat talking about a possible ethics violation a political attack? At no time in the hearing was Greg’s political opponent brought up or evidence that John, Janet and Pat were working with his opponent. And come on folks, we knew Julian was never going to beat Greg. Even if Greg’s supporters felt he did something unethical, like myself and even John said, it wasn’t really a punishable offense, John just simply wanted to set an example so the council would stop doing this and change policy. No political collusion. Sure Pat, Janet and John shared (public) information. But Julian was never included in this threeway, or at least NO evidence was presented. In fact, the only time that I can personally think Julian would have even crossed that path was when one of his supporters helping him with his campaign asked me if it was Greg. And since I saw the email the same time John did I said that it was safe to assume that, or the mayor. I’m not sure if this information was ever passed onto Julian, but if it was, he did nothing about it and in the one and only phone conversation I had with Julian, we never really talked about it.

And here is the other kicker; if Greg’s charges were dismissed because they felt he did nothing wrong, why did his supporters on the council say they need to make policy changes? Why change something that isn’t broken? If Greg didn’t violate a policy, why do you need to fix the policy? Seems a little hypocritical to me? Wait, that’s this council’s middle name.

And the obvious and awful bias the chair of the meeting, Mayor TenHaken, had towards Greg and Greg’s detractors. Paul routinely cut off John, Janet and Pat while letting Greg’s 5 best friends make statements and cut off answers from John before he could finish. His performance that night should be a clear ethics violation.

But one of the other ironic moments was when (I think) councilor Selberg said that he thought this bickering and divisiveness would end after the election (in other words, after Theresa was gone). What they didn’t realize is that they are the ones being divisive and partisan and they are the ones that created all this drama. Remember how Councilor Erractickson used to attack Stehly? Now she has turned those attacks onto Brekke. This is what happens when you have a majority of the council that hates the public’s opinion, hates transparency and were bought and paid for (literally) by the banksters, developers and high rollers in town.

So what did Greg do wrong? First off, not admitting he actually did violate a portion of the ordinance by taking a paid for partisan trip. Greg could have made this go away the second the first complaint was filed by telling the BOE he apologized for the misstep and would work with the council on cleaning up the ordinances on travel policy. I actually believe he would have looked very honorable by doing that.

I also don’t think it deserved punishment. Though now I do think Greg needs to be reprimanded for lying throughout his hearing and making up things up about Janet, Pat and John.

And that’s just it, the violation itself wasn’t the gorilla in the room Thursday night, it was false attacks on Janet, Pat and John and the demonization of a citizen whistle blower for having the courage to file the complaint when he saw something that didn’t look right. Remember, as John mentioned Thursday night, he has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and worked in the public sector most of his life, if he saw something that didn’t look right, he would be the one to know. The BOE did determine it wasn’t frivolous and changes to policy should be tightened up.

But if there is something we can learn from this is the attacks on private citizens for looking into government corruption needs to end, and ironically that is the real ‘political hit job’ here coming from the very partisans (Republicans) who tried to claim the trip wasn’t partisan. Just another chapter in their sad, pathetic, lying, scheming loser lives. The truth will free you brothers and sisters, I guess they enjoy being chained to the evils of deception, just look at who leads the state and national party.

Sioux Falls City Councilor Neitzert’s ethics complaint dismissed by council 5-2

I knew this was going to happen. Councilors Brekke and Starr voted against it.

To say it was a total 4 1/2 hour sh*t show is an understatement. Greg continued to say it was a political hit job but when questioned about that political hit job to show evidence all he could do is shuffle papers and look down at his feet.

At one point he pretended to not know what ALEC does (you know the shadow right wing group funded by the Koch Brothers who supported this conference). It would be like asking me what the ACLU does and not being able to answer it. It was laughable at best.

I also thought it was funny how Greg was answering the RS5’s questions before they finished asking the questions. Can you say rehearsal?

Even though the complaintant John Cunningham wasn’t provided around a 170 pages of evidence before the hearing he did a fine job of answering questions, and he beat down this was a political hit job. John said it best, “I’m concerned about ethics not politics.”

During my public input I told them right off the bat that I knew they would dismiss so I would go into the huff and puff of the meeting.

• I pointed out the clear conflict of interest and the bias the Mayor had tonight chairing the meeting since he attended the event with Greg. (I did not mention this in testimony, but Greg revealed tonight the former Deputy COS to the mayor TJ Nelson also attended the event with them. Guess who Nelson works for now? Greg’s counsel, Redstone. Hmmmmmmm.)

• I added that it was a partisan event because only Republicans were invited to attend.

• I said Greg didn’t bother to tell the council until he was at the event, I said, “It would be like calling my mom and telling her I was thinking about taking a vacation in Hawaii and when she asked me when, I would respond, I’m here now.” (My mother has a strict policy with me that I tell her in advance before I take long trips).

• Greg has yet to give the council or public a report of what he learned, though he was a chatterbox about it tonight, we still don’t know.

• I also took issue with the term ‘Common Practice’ and that the BOE failed in their duties to point this out but present NO evidence (Even Councilor Soehl brought this up in the final testimony). I said the only other person I can think of in the past 20 years that does this quite frequently is the current mayor.

• I went on to remind them that a city councilor’s email not flagged confidential by the city attorney because of pending litigation is a PUBLIC DOCUMENT and owned by the taxpayers (they tried to claim Starr leaked this document) I also said the same about Brekke pointing out chapters in the charter to citizens. I compared it to John Cunningham asking assistance from a city librarian to find a law book.

• I ended by saying this could have saved everyone a lot of time, capital and heartache if Neitzert would have not made this confidential and just apologized for what he did and reference that the code is vague. That would have proven he has real ethics and integrity, since he said several times during his testimony he ‘did nothing wrong’. Well then why hide behind confidentiality?

Lastly, I just want to say I agreed with Councilor Kiley’s final statement on this tonight, “This whole thing was disgusting.” It sure was. It sure was. It was a classic switcharoo of killing the messenger. And that was disgusting. Greg violated the ordinance and got off. That is disgusting Ricky and you enabled it.