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Former Mayor's Ethics Complaint on Roseville Council's Agenda

The city attorney has recommended the complaint be dismissed. The dispute is over the failed Marriage Amendment.

The Roseville Council is expected tonight (Monday) to consider an ethics complaint lodged against it, the Human Rights Commission and City Manager Bill Malinen by former Mayor John John M. Kysylyczyn.

In a recent letter to the city Ethics Commission, Kysylyczyn contends the city Human Rights Commission and later the City Council engaged in prohibited political activity when the two groups passed resolutions opposing the Marriage Amendment. That amendment, which Minnesota voters rejected on Nov. 6,  week, would have defined marriage as only being between one man and one woman.accordance with the City’s Ethics Code, the complaint was sent to the City Attorney for review.

Kysylyczyn contended the Human Rights Commission and City Coucil violated the city's ethics policies in spending city resources in taking a stand on the issue. 

"The discussion on the issue instructing people how to vote on a state constitutional amendment is clearly an act of being engaged in political campaign activity," Kysylyczyn stated. "While it may be acceptable to use public funds to educate the public in a fair and balanced manner on an issue that is related to an operation of city government, that was clearly not the case in this situation."

But Malinen said City Attorney Mark Gaughan researched the complaint and urged the Ethics Commison and now the City Council to dismiss Kysylyczyn's complaint. (The Ethics Commission is recommending the Council dismiss Kysylyczyn's complaint).

Gaughan, in his report, concluded that Kysylyczyn "has not established by  clear and convincing evidence that the city has violated the ethics policy" and he is recommending the Council dismiss the complaint with "no adverse action be taken."

Gaughan contends the law allows the Council to collectively voice its stand on ballot iniatitives. He added the League of Minnesota Cities issued an opinion advising that it was OK for a city council to take a stand on an constitutional amendment.

Meanwhile, in other business, the Council is also expected to vote on renewing  liquor licenses for 2013. The Council meeting is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. today (Monday) at Roseville City Council, 2660 Civic Center Drive.

Click on this link to see the complete Council agenda.

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The Twilight Clone November 19, 2012 at 05:58 PM
Hilarious: he actually used the phrase "fair and balanced." How much time and money will be wasted on this complaint? The city council should not engage carnival barkers.
John Kysylyczyn November 19, 2012 at 07:03 PM
Clone, what the article failed to mention is that I actually withdrew the complaint at the ethics commission meeting. Not sure exactly what the council is going to be voting on. Apparently you didn't read the city attorney's so called "investigation". It had to be one of the worst legal briefs I have seen. Little to no citations so no one could research any of it. Then this city attorney had the gall to toss a document on the table at the start of the meeting which was related to his legal analysis. I didn't even get a chance to thoroughly read it. This isn't how you conduct a fair and balanced process. Gaughan would have been lectured by a judge if he pulled a similar stunt in a real courtroom. I have to wonder how much the city is paying him for his work and whether it is worth it. So I withdrew the complaint and will be filing it again as soon as I receive additional public information. The city attorney claims that the discussion of the issue did not cost the taxpayer funds. Apparently he needs receipts because this isn't obvious as plain day. So fine, I will find him receipts. If Gaughan pulls this stunt again of tossing stuff down on the table in the middle of a meeting, I will withdraw and refile again. I play fair by presenting my information in advance of the meeting. He should play by the rules too. How many times has council complained about not getting stuff in advance? Plenty of times. Gaughan knew better.
Luke November 24, 2012 at 11:07 PM
So in your effort to stop wasting our city's time and money, you filed a complaint that required the city attorney to research it and then randomly withdrew the complaint because you learned more? Why not just do the work yourself instead of passing the cost to us? Personally, I think the city should do everything possible to facilitate discussion of these issues. That's the point of the HRC. They have a budget for these discussions and if you had a concern about that being improperly used, you should've came to the planning sessions. No one showed up to complain so the HRC went ahead. You lost. Get over it and stop wasting my tax dollars.
John Kysylyczyn November 24, 2012 at 11:24 PM
Luke, You can thank the city council for hiring a sloppy attorney as the reason the complaint was withdrawn and will be refiled. There is nothing random about it. The attorney wrote up a quick brief and cited none of the materials he referenced in his brief. He attached none of the documents that he partially quoted. Some of those documents regular people like me could not easily get copies. He never sent me any of his materials prior to the meeting. One of the documents he referenced, he put down on the table during the actual meeting. I didn't have much of an opportunity to read it and neither did the ethics commission members, which is why one member chose to abstain from voting. This attorney the city pays over $100,000 a year to knows the system and knows what his job is. What he pulled would lead to a verbal lashing by a judge in court. There is no excuse why the standards at city hall should be several notches below the standards in court. The city council requires materials to be handed out in advance of the meeting, why is it acceptable to have a lower standard at the ethics commission meetings? Good question. The council should have a private talk with their attorney about his work product. I see you clearly have a position on this marriage issue and that is clouding your judgment. Take the glasses off and look at the big picture. Look at the issue of the use of taxpayer dollars. Next time you might not like how it is being spent.

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