Recently I was asked the following question by a reporter: “The past couple of years have been turbulent for Maumee City Council – Some residents have taken to social media naming you, John Jezak and other council members for causing it. How do you respond to that? What do you believe your role has been and has it been difficult for you?”
The short answer is that Rich Carr and Brent Buehrer’s actions caused the need for an investigation. If they had acted in a moral and ethical manner none of the issues discovered during the investigation would have ever happened. Sadly this was not the case and the only appropriate action for Council to take was to look into it and see if any of it was true. What was found was that further investigation was necessary so the Ohio Ethics Commission and the Public Integrity Office of the State Auditor were provided the findings and most people I talk to say they believe Council made the right decision since both of these state law enforcement offices independently determined that the facts warranted a further review of Mayor Carr and Councilman Buehrer’s actions.
But I think that is important to point out that as I talk to folks all across Maumee I hear over and over again that people believe it is unethical for elected officials to have personal or professional interests that conflict with their duty and responsibility to the office for which they were elected. They believe when there are questions regarding unethical actions of elected officials these actions must be investigated. In this case, Council voted for an independent review of the facts to determine two things; first, the merit of the accusations and second, if the findings rose to the level of needing the City of Maumee to take any further action which Council ultimately voted to do. Having said that I am hopeful that these state agencies will conclude their respective investigations promptly as I believe that the citizens deserve to have all of the facts necessary to make an informed decision prior to the election this fall.
Below are some of the articles that have been published regarding the investigation.
Maumee council acts to make ethics report costs public
Maumee officials differ on next steps following report
Law firm investigating wrongdoing by Maumee officials releases report