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phecksel
09-27-2006, 11:35 AM
I have to be a little vague on the question, which could be followed up with PM.

There's been a lot of discussion in the news about the congressional debate and attempts to influence congressman. The news stories quote constitutional provision known as the speech or debate clause.

My question is related more to the local level, how do I find laws that would deal with intimidation or vote influence of local officials?

LakePirate
09-27-2006, 11:39 AM
Assume the worst for local officials and start there.

I am very interested in Local Politics and would love to know more about this situation.

My best bit of advice would be to find a local lawyer with whom you are friends and ask them. Or search your state government's web page. I know that Georgia has it's code (laws) posted on the internet and it is searchable to some extent.

PendO
09-27-2006, 11:40 AM
you are looking for anit-corruption types of laws? There are no doubt state laws, along with federal laws addressing the issue. Here is a good starting point for a lay person:

http://www.judicialwatch.org/

http://www.findlaw.com/

http://www.judicialwatch.org/ecoalition.shtml

also: go to google and do a "constitutional law political corruption" search, and look at the different books on the topic

east tx skier
09-27-2006, 12:04 PM
Check out your state's election code or something along those lines. At the city/county level, see if the city counsel has its ordinances online. For counties, you may look for something called "local government code."

kjohnson
09-28-2006, 09:28 AM
Call Al Gore's hanging chad attorney.

phecksel
10-05-2006, 11:14 PM
Thank you to everybody who responded and Pendo with the PM.

I had to be vague, did a ton of research, which sure helped my wife gather her thoughts and develop an approach to resolve a tough issue. It's really bad it had to get this ugly, but for what ever reason, it wasn't being handled administratively like it should have been. We're a little gun shy, {maybe need to buy a couple of guns????}, because of the crap that we had to deal with on the whole police dispatch issue. We're 95% positive who was behind that, and who actually did it, but that passed by. Gotta give the woman a lot of credit for her cajones... Already today, several people have called, stopped by, or said something at a special meeting tonight, all positive.

Unfortunately, I can't provide a link to the better newspaper, they don't publish online. They found some other people with confirming and supporting information.

Anyway, enjoy the reading
http://www.journalgroup.com/index.php?id=1410

Farmer Ted
10-05-2006, 11:26 PM
Thank you to everybody who responded and Pendo with the PM.

I had to be vague, did a ton of research, which sure helped my wife gather her thoughts and develop an approach to resolve a tough issue. It's really bad it had to get this ugly, but for what ever reason, it wasn't being handled administratively like it should have been. We're a little gun shy, {maybe need to buy a couple of guns????}, because of the crap that we had to deal with on the whole police dispatch issue. We're 95% positive who was behind that, and who actually did it, but that passed by. Gotta give the woman a lot of credit for her cajones... Already today, several people have called, stopped by, or said something at a special meeting tonight, all positive.

Unfortunately, I can't provide a link to the better newspaper, they don't publish online. They found some other people with confirming and supporting information.

Anyway, enjoy the reading
http://www.journalgroup.com/index.php?id=1410



your wife should be commended for doing the right thing. I hope she prevails.

Maristar210
10-05-2006, 11:33 PM
Wow man. My thoughts are with you. Your wife sounds like a trooper for sure. The thing about stupid people is they always think they are smarter than most. It's a bad idea....

Take Care - Steve

Leroy
10-05-2006, 11:37 PM
Great job to your wife! I would watch closely and try to get this settled quickly.

phecksel
10-06-2006, 02:34 PM
Last night at a joint council/city boards meeting, the newest council member (appointed), had his tires slashed. Tuesday night, he was out to dinner and accousted by the person in question, demanding to know how he was going to vote. He apparently said he had not reviewed any of the details. Not sure slashing his tires made any friends. This stuff is F* crazy. All over unpaid positions!!!!!

phecksel
10-06-2006, 02:35 PM
Wow man. My thoughts are with you. Your wife sounds like a trooper for sure. The thing about stupid people is they always think they are smarter than most. It's a bad idea....

Take Care - Steve
It's been said this person has a lower then average intelligence.

LakePirate
10-06-2006, 03:04 PM
Holy Cow. I hope that the destruction of property, threats to your family and all other acts of stupidity are stopped.

People get drunk with power and this is a classic example.

Not only are city council members not paid, but they have to put up with being pulled through the mud by the local media and now this?

My hat is off to your wife and the other respectable public officials out there.

JimN
10-06-2006, 03:17 PM
They person who accosted the other one should be rung up for assault. If anyone saw the tires being slashed, signing an affidavit would be a start.

The confirming/supporting info is great, but are they willing to testify?

Ric
10-06-2006, 03:31 PM
is there a thread where I can know what on earth yall are talking about?

LakePirate
10-06-2006, 03:40 PM
is there a thread where I can know what on earth yall are talking about?


Check this link (http://www.journalgroup.com/index.php?id=1410)

Ric
10-06-2006, 03:49 PM
Wow .

phecksel
10-07-2006, 06:54 PM
Holy Cow. I hope that the destruction of property, threats to your family and all other acts of stupidity are stopped.

People get drunk with power and this is a classic example.

Not only are city council members not paid, but they have to put up with being pulled through the mud by the local media and now this?

My hat is off to your wife and the other respectable public officials out there.
Neighboring city's leader saw my wife last night and jokingly thanked her for taking the heat for awhile in the local press :)

JimN
10-07-2006, 07:06 PM
Just curious but which side of the political fence are you on, D or R?

phecksel
10-08-2006, 07:41 PM
Just curious but which side of the political fence are you on, D or R?
For the city council, there is no D or R.

My personal leanings are I

JimN
10-08-2006, 08:01 PM
Oh My God! How can they possibly get anything done if they aren't bickering back and forth, telling the "other side" what a bunch of losers they are for being in that party?:D

Must be nice.

"Ahhh, imagine a world without hypothetical situations."

phecksel
10-13-2006, 10:24 PM
I could have never expected what has happened over the last several days.

The guy, who thought he couldn't be touched, turned in his immediate resignation and left town. Someone that saw him said he was shaking so bad they seriously considered calling 911. Rumor has it, in spite of his resignation, city attorney wants to pursue criminal charges. The real shocking part is the number of phone calls, people stopping my wife at work, and in public, ALL to congratulate her and thank her. The number of horror stories she's heard has been absolutely overwhelming. Our phone literally never stops ringing. For such a small town, it's amazing this guy created this many enemies without reprecussions. Proud of my wife, she has bigger balls then anybody else in the town.

I wish I could tell even more, but there's still some stuff playing out. Next weeks council meeting will be interesting.

JimN
10-14-2006, 12:08 AM
So, when will she run for Mayor?

jrcarte78
10-14-2006, 12:54 AM
I, personally, feel these situations are best left to professionals.

:rolleyes:

J.R.

BriEOD
10-14-2006, 06:59 AM
IF, any of those people committing the act hold any kind of public office (cop, fireman, city council, etc) this is a FEDERAL charge. 18 USC 242, Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law.

The stature empower the Federal Government to prosecute federal, state, and local law enforcement and other public officials who, under mantel of their official authority, intentionally violate the civil rights of prisoners, suspects, or other persons.

Also, if it is more that one you could get them on conspiracy and maybe wire fraud (cell phone).

What, someone watch Mississippi Burning or something?

BriEOD
10-14-2006, 06:59 AM
Repeat posting.

phecksel
10-16-2006, 12:12 PM
IF, any of those people committing the act hold any kind of public office (cop, fireman, city council, etc) this is a FEDERAL charge. 18 USC 242, Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law.

The stature empower the Federal Government to prosecute federal, state, and local law enforcement and other public officials who, under mantel of their official authority, intentionally violate the civil rights of prisoners, suspects, or other persons.

Also, if it is more that one you could get them on conspiracy and maybe wire fraud (cell phone).

What, someone watch Mississippi Burning or something?

Everything you said is absolutely true. What's even worse, at least one police complaint was filed and not pursued. For what ever reason, mayor was protecting this person, and this person would personally escalate the threats (or actions) to whatever level required to get his accusers to back down, move out of town, or even move out of state. His actions were definitely disturbing, but it's even more disturbing that it continued until "she with the big cajones" stood eye to eye with him. he attempted the same crap with us, but the one thing I learned about my wife, don't F* with the B*. One of the people that called the house described her as an angel from heaven to fix the city. While that may be a bit over reaching, can't argue with her success. When I started this thread, I knew she was going to make this public, it was going to get ugly, and she needed as much legal information as I, as a layman, could find for her.

I was thinking about this whole thread the other day, and it suddenly dawned on me, this could be interpeted a fantasy session. There's no way this stuff really could happen in the real world.

BriEOD
10-16-2006, 09:23 PM
If it was a public official I recommend you contact your local Assistant United States Attorney. That is some B.S.

Farmer Ted
10-16-2006, 10:16 PM
IF, any of those people committing the act hold any kind of public office (cop, fireman, city council, etc) this is a FEDERAL charge. 18 USC 242, Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law.

The stature empower the Federal Government to prosecute federal, state, and local law enforcement and other public officials who, under mantel of their official authority, intentionally violate the civil rights of prisoners, suspects, or other persons.

Also, if it is more that one you could get them on conspiracy and maybe wire fraud (cell phone).

What, someone watch Mississippi Burning or something?



Check out the big brain on Brian!!!!


Dude (sir) I'm glad you're on my team!

BriEOD
10-17-2006, 05:40 AM
Check out the big brain on Brian!!!!


Dude (sir) I'm glad you're on my team!
Yeah, no worries. If you EVER need anything from that Department look me up Tim.

Brian

phecksel
10-17-2006, 11:30 AM
If it was a public official I recommend you contact your local Assistant United States Attorney. That is some B.S.

presents an interesting problem. The guy was out of control, the mayor knew it was going on, city manager knew it was going on, and they created a huge potential liability for the city. The only thing that saved past lawsuits, the intimidation tactics were greater then the cajones of the recipients. At this point he's resigned, nobody expects the mayor to run again, and the city manager has all but announced his retirement. What can be gained at this point by bringing in the feds? This new council (at least 3/5) has made it very clear, the good ole boys and the old way of doing things will not continue.

JimN
10-17-2006, 02:53 PM
"What can be gained at this point by bringing in the feds?"

Well, if any agreements entered into by "the city" were improperly closed, arranged, paid foror kickbacks paid because of illegal activities, they can be reversed of they aren't in the community's best interests. A third party would be good to have in this case, IMO. If this stuff went on for a long time, other people may have suffered damage to their careers or reputations, and that is (or should be) grounds for a suit on their behalf. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that they had set up dummy companies and funnelled off a lot of money. Maybe for consulting fees or "legal counseling" on at least one issue. If this had happened in my city, I would want an external audit. I'm in a suburb of Milwaukee and we only have about 14K here but if we had crooked council members, it would raise a stink.

Bruce
10-17-2006, 05:56 PM
I guess being from Louisana we don't encounter much of this because we have the best politicans money can buy! Congrats to your wife most of all not for her b---- but her integrity. She may one day be known as Her Honor The Mayor. Good luck and God Bless.

BriEOD
10-17-2006, 09:04 PM
"What can be gained at this point by bringing in the feds?"

Well, if any agreements entered into by "the city" were improperly closed, arranged, paid foror kickbacks paid because of illegal activities, they can be reversed of they aren't in the community's best interests. A third party would be good to have in this case, IMO. If this stuff went on for a long time, other people may have suffered damage to their careers or reputations, and that is (or should be) grounds for a suit on their behalf. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that they had set up dummy companies and funnelled off a lot of money. Maybe for consulting fees or "legal counseling" on at least one issue. If this had happened in my city, I would want an external audit. I'm in a suburb of Milwaukee and we only have about 14K here but if we had crooked council members, it would raise a stink.

Well said Jim. Let me piggyback on this. By using the Federal System, rather than a local District or State Attorney, you alleviate any undue pressures from the local population. Your DA or SA is most likely appointed by popular election and the same goes for the Judge. Conversely, your District Court Judge is appointed by the President and your AUSA and Mag Court Judge are basically appointed by the District Court judge. The bottom line is by using the Federal System you use an autonmous criminal justice system without internal influence.

JimN
10-17-2006, 09:09 PM
Also, if the Federal branch is used, there's less chance that one of the "persons of interest" have them in their pocket.

Or, they can just go to Judge Judy.

phecksel
10-18-2006, 11:53 AM
"What can be gained at this point by bringing in the feds?"

Well, if any agreements entered into by "the city" were improperly closed, arranged, paid foror kickbacks paid because of illegal activities, they can be reversed of they aren't in the community's best interests. A third party would be good to have in this case, IMO. If this stuff went on for a long time, other people may have suffered damage to their careers or reputations, and that is (or should be) grounds for a suit on their behalf. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that they had set up dummy companies and funnelled off a lot of money. Maybe for consulting fees or "legal counseling" on at least one issue. If this had happened in my city, I would want an external audit. I'm in a suburb of Milwaukee and we only have about 14K here but if we had crooked council members, it would raise a stink.

My wife and the person elected with her (and now with an appointed member, forming a majority) are going through the city department by department. The are finding an unbelievable amount of incompetence, which is systemically caused by the mayors unwillingness to confront and/or take action. Council five years ago, refused to properly pay, what we now know to be an outstanding treasurer. He wanted something like a 15k increase (to going rate). The council decided the most they could afford was 5k. Next Treasurer quit after a short period of time and sued(?) claiming unsafe building. Following Treasurer couldn't figure out how to correctly add columns of numbers. Next Treasurer was, how do you say "real piece of work"? So, even if there was fraudulent financial activity, it probably couldn't be found. City has hired one of the big accounting firms to at least get the financials caught up to close the 2005 books and audit... Remember the 10k difference, it has grown to well over 200k in consulting fees!

Building department went way beyond incompetence. One of the states highest (hourly basis) paid inspectors, couldn't follow a recipe if you read it to him, line by line. We had an issue with the house next door to us. Inspector kept telling us it was condemned and required tear down. State has a set of requirements, city has their own requirements, he had a hand written procedure, and yet he didn't follow any of those steps. Told another neighbor to erect an illegal building, but to hire him to rough it in, then go get the permit. Well, they followed his "suggestion" and he's no longer employed. City and this homeowner are boxed into a position neither one can legally get out of.

The irony, some of the best and hardest working people are also employed by the city.

My wife's belief is the chapter that started this thread is over. The mayor and two council members are up for election next year. Assuming they keep a majority, they will keep moving forward. It's for all practical purposes a volunteer job anyway. She has no reason to want the mayor's job, it's too time consuming, only pays $1,500, and is a huge headache. She didn't even want to run for council, but there was a specific issue that got her involved. At times she regrets it, because of the time required and "giving" away her management expertise.

Maristar210
10-18-2006, 12:01 PM
My wife and the person elected with her (and now with an appointed member, forming a majority) are going through the city department by department. The are finding an unbelievable amount of incompetence, which is systemically caused by the mayors unwillingness to confront and/or take action. Council five years ago, refused to properly pay, what we now know to be an outstanding treasurer. He wanted something like a 15k increase (to going rate). The council decided the most they could afford was 5k. Next Treasurer quit after a short period of time and sued(?) claiming unsafe building. Following Treasurer couldn't figure out how to correctly add columns of numbers. Next Treasurer was, how do you say "real piece of work"? So, even if there was fraudulent financial activity, it probably couldn't be found. City has hired one of the big accounting firms to at least get the financials caught up to close the 2005 books and audit... Remember the 10k difference, it has grown to well over 200k in consulting fees!

Building department went way beyond incompetence. One of the states highest (hourly basis) paid inspectors, couldn't follow a recipie if you read it to him, line by line. We had an issue with the house next door to us. Inspector kept telling us it was condemned and required tear down. State has a set of requirements, city has their own requirements, he had a hand written procedure, and yet he didn't follow any of those steps. Told a neighbor to erect an illegal building, but to hire him to rough it in, then go get the permit. Well, they followed his "suggestion" and he's no longer employed. City and this homeowner are boxed into a position neither one can legally get out of.

The irony, some of the best and hardest working people are also employed by the city.

My wife's belief is the chapter that started this thread is over. The mayor and two council members are up for election next year. Assuming they keep a majority, they will keep moving forward. It's for all practical purposes a volunteer job anyway. She has no reason to want the mayor's job, it's too time consuming, only pays $1,500, and is a huge headache. She didn't even want to run for council, but there was a specific issue that got her involved. At times she regrets it, because of the time required and "giving" away her management expertise.


Your wife must have felt compelled enough to not stand for it any longer. I commend her taking action. Too many people sit back and wait for someone else to fix thier problem all the while bit**ing and complaining, yet refusing to lift a damn finger to aid in the effort.

Kudos to her. You've got a good one for sure.

Steve``

JimN
10-18-2006, 12:24 PM
If the inspector did tell the neighbor to hire him, it's a clear conflict of interests and they should be able to hold him responsible for any legal action against them. If nothing other than having the city grant a variance if the code violations aren't too bad and pose no real safety threats. There may be some civil rights actions, too.

Were the "consulting fees" paid to any company they have any interest in, no matter how small?

She's being a major service to your community and they should throw a parade in her honor, IMO. Even if it's a headache, low pay, PITA, the place will be better off for everything coming out into the open. If the Mayor and other council members were involved in wrongdoing, moving forward will occur much faster if there's a recall election. Milwaukee County had a big county employee pension scandal and the fiscal aftermath won't end for years. Quite a few from the county board lost in the recall.

If she's as good manager as she sounds, her being Mayor would be a good thing. Besides, she can still work while she's in that position. She would be able to appoint people she knows, who will get the job done to her standards. Maybe she can even get some new regs passed to prevent this from happening again, like regular audits for a specified time period and if no additional wrongdoing relax it a bit, more checks and balances, etc.