Skip to comments.CA: Probe's findings about (D-)Gregory might be hidden (San Jose City Council)
Posted on 11/07/2004 10:29:14 AM PST by NormsRevenge
Almost six months after reports surfaced alleging that San Jose Councilman Terry Gregory solicited lavish meals and gifts in violation of city law, an investigation proposed last week by Mayor Ron Gonzales promises the first answers to questions about whether Gregory has done anything wrong.
Who gets to hear those answers, however, is entirely unclear -- and may largely be up to Gonzales and City Attorney Rick Doyle if they determine Gregory acted in ways that expose the city to legal liability.
Gonzales' investigation has sparked unfavorable comparisons to the city's early efforts in August to investigate questions about its botched plan to purchase Cisco equipment for the new City Hall. That investigation failed to answer questions from council members and the public and prolonged uncertainty about the deal. An independent report into the Cisco controversy is due out next month.
For the investigation into Gregory, Gonzales has proposed paying an independent investigator $50,000 to look into allegations that the council member strong-armed local business people for free meals. The investigation also will address claims made last week in a wrongful-termination claim filed against the city by Craig Mann, Gregory's former chief of staff. Mann claims the District 7 representative pressured Wal-Mart and Costco to donate thousands of dollars to a loosely regulated city account that Gregory could tap for community events.
Open vs. closed
Joe Guerra, Gonzales' budget and policy director, said he is confident the proposed investigation is the right way to quickly and thoroughly deal with the allegations against Gregory. He said the mayor would work to release as much information from the investigation as possible. Under Gonzales' proposal, the investigator would report directly to the council as early as Dec. 14, but not necessarily in public.
(Excerpt) Read more at mercurynews.com ...
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As always, Thanks!
Ron is worried about opening the city up to legal liabilities. LOL
The city is being forced to tighten its belt even more severely than ever, and look at downtown with all its new buildings and tax base that they spent billions on cajoloing to locate their, but I think many of those folks got tax breaks to move there. Ooops!
Tons o' revenue possibilities - hell, we may even lure a professional sports franchise into the area to help us out.
Mercury News Editorial
Mayor Ron Gonzales seized on the charges by Terry Gregory's former chief of staff to launch a proposal last week for a tidy, closed-door investigation into the beleaguered council member's alleged ethical lapses.
But the city council has an obligation to confront the mayor with a couple of raw realities:
Key players won't testify without the tug -- and protection -- of a subpoena, which the mayor's investigator can't get.
An investigation laundered through Gonzales will be suspect, given the pattern of duplicity and obfuscation from the mayor's office.
The solution is a hybrid: a panel of council members, who have the authority to subpoena people and place them under oath, working in conjunction with an investigator.
The notion of an independent investigator has merit. Any charges of harassment in the workplace demand swift, thorough and private fact-finding. But most of the charges in the explosive memo by Gregory's former chief of staff, Craig Mann, have to do with Gregory's alleged conduct in the community. The fact-finding on those issues should be public.
That Mayor Gonzales can't see this is of little surprise. When allegations about Gregory's possible ethical and criminal violations first surfaced, Gonzales dismissed them, saying they were a matter for the constituents in District 7 to resolve.
Subpoena power is essential to a thorough investigation.