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Friday, June 29, 2012

Questions on Conflict-of-Interest and Disclosure for Alderman Lead Back to Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner's Conflicts and Failure to Disclose

Richard Irvin, an Alderman-at-Large in the City of Aurora, was questioned by our friend, Stephanie Lulay (who works at the local newspaper) about a potential conflict-of-interest and failing to disclose his involvement in a vote at Aurora City Council on Tuesday night.

Irvin, an attorney, had represented the seller of a property to West Aurora School District 129, which was among various properties acquired by the school district for parking for a school.

A grant to the district to cover a portion of these costs was being considered by the city council.  Irvin didn't disclose he had any history with the property before the Committee-of-the-Whole or before the vote for the Aurora City Council.

According to Stephanie Lulay, the city says he didn't need to since there was no conflict-of-interest and his fees or involvement in the property had concluded months earlier and he would not receive anything from this grant.
According to the city code, a conflict of interest includes "a person or business entity with whom a contractual relationship exists with the officer or employee."
Another part of the code states that no officer shall have a material interest, directly or indirectly, in any contract when the expense of the contract is paid from the city treasury.

So, that's the official position from Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner and his administration, right?

Well, it may actually depend on which way the political wind is blowing at the moment.

Back during the Planned Parenthood controversy and when Irvin was likely to be a repeat candidate for mayor against Weisner, Irvin and wild spending Alderman Bob O'Connor had selected an attorney, Philip Luetkehans, to "investigate" the issues surrounding the deception, zoning and other questions created by Planned Parenthood.

Turned out Luetkehans had previously made a campaign contribution to Irvin in 2005.

Weisner, through his taxpayer-funded spokesgirl, blasted Irvin at the time:

The mayor is "definitely disappointed, city spokesman Carie Anne Ergo said. The point of having city council choose an attorney was to avoid a conflict of interest, or even the appearance of one, she said.
"This certainly could be interpreted as an appearance of a conflict," she said.

So, turns out the mayor's standard is even the appearance of a conflict.

That is, unless, we are talking about HIS many conflicts and failures to disclose.

At almost every city council meeting, there are thousands of dollars extracted from the city treasury going to cronies, campaign contributors, firms and people who have provided direct benefits to the mayor, though his campaign fund or otherwise.

NONE of these transactions include any disclosure by Tom Weisner.

When the City of Aurora considers votes on contracts or agenda items involving the mayor's campaign contributors or cronies, NONE of them include any disclosure by Tom Weisner or ANY effort by him to abstain from any vote or comment.

When asked why, city spokesgirl Carie Ergo said "well, uh, that's different."

And, what about when Cordogan Clark, one of the mayor's top campaign contributors, gets contracts from the city AND gave a job to the mayor's son?

"That's uh, just a coincidence," said Ergo.

Yes, we know...everything that happens around Aurora and City Hall is just a "coincidence."


Anonymous said...

As much as I don't like Irvin, you coincidentally left out other items from Lulay's article, like the fact the properties were already all bought by the school district before the grant proposal ever even came up, and that Irvin, like a lot of attorneys, does a lot of real estate closings and didn't even remember doing this one.

Anonymous said...

The bigger story is I did not realize Schular and Saville had city patronage jobs

Anonymous said...

They don’t get much dirtier and incompetent then Irvin. “Little” Richard uses his law license as a way to pressure women into putting out. He will represent your poor and broke husband if the wife gives him a little. He will try and help you get out of jail if your girlfriends on the outside will help him put. He is scum. And not a very good attorney either. What Richard does is prey on poor uneducated people’s ignorance. He pockets money and sex to get the convicted freed from jail, only they don’t realize the system is now rigged to free people before hey have served their full sentence, so essentially he does nothing but let the system go through it s machinations, the system kicks a few of his clients free early and then Richard plays up the role he never had as if he actually did something. They guy is a slick operator.

Old Richard appears at republican events saying he is a lifelong republican, but at the same time is in black churches telling them how he voted for Obama. Let’s see can we divine the truth by looking at his voting record?

Here is an extract of his voting record [It is public record]:

2701 Shetland LN,

And there you have it, he pulled Democratic ballot, small wonder the GOP did not back his run for the house this year once it was pointed out to them.

Irvin has always had ethical issues both in his personal life and his professional life so why is it hard to believe he would be different in his political life.