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Santa Stash 2017

Commissioner Accused, Admits Ethics Violation

KSAL Staff - November 13, 2017 7:45 pm

City Commissioner Jon Blanchard discusses ethics violations at the Monday meeting. (photo from Salina Community Access TV)

Monday’s Salina City Commission became contentious as it was winding down when the mayor accused a commissioner of an ethics violation.

Salina Mayor Kaye Crawford said that she was troubled that commissioner Jon Blanchard released documents which contained confidential information discussed during an executive session.   The information in question is in regard to discussions in 2014 between the City and the Salina Area Chamber of Commerce which ended with a significant reduction in chamber funding and the formation of a new economic development organization.

Blanchard obtained the information, a portion of which was redacted, via a personal open records request. Crawford was concerned that Blanchard personally released the information without first consulting the other commissioners. Commissioner Karl Ryan agreed.

Blanchard admitted that it was an ethics violation. City Counselor Greg Bengston said that the violation is not a crime, but rather a violation of city commission policy.

Blanchard released the information during the just completed election, along with other documents including campaign finance reports, which he obtained via open record’s requests.

During an exchange which became contentious at times, after admitting his violation Blanchard accused commissioner Ryan of ethics violations as well. He alleged that Ryan did not recuse himself from certain votes when he should have because of conflict of interest concerns.

By a 5-0 vote the commission decided to put the ethic’s violations issue on the agenda for next week’s meeting for open discussion, and possible action.

ACCESS TV VIDEO OF MEETING  (ethics discussion starts at 1:53:20 during “other business” segment)

 

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Jeff Huggins

November 14, 2017 at 1:34 am

why do you think these clowns run for any local elected office? SELF ENRICHMENT

Terry Clark

November 14, 2017 at 11:04 am

So Blanchard released information that any member of the general public could likewise have obtained pursuant to an Open Records Request, and that’s transformed into an Ethics Violation? As an old college professor of mine used to say, “You’ve got a good reason, and then you’ve got the real reason”. Perhaps KSAL will do some investigative reporting into the Real reason the other commissioners are going after Blanchard when his main “sin” seems to be revelation of inconvenient truths.

Doug Clemens

November 15, 2017 at 8:47 pm

First media will not investigate anything in this town they have been brought off some time ago. These commissioners have violated many things like the river project that we voted down now they are giving money of ours to that project. Or how about the fieldhouse 11 million for something we did not need which looks like an old barn build with used metal. Once again our money spent on some guys dreams. Only two issues but all of these commissioners have dirty hands.

City of Salina