What Is That Word?

plural noun: ethics; noun: ethics
moral principles that govern a person’s behavior or the conducting of an activity.
“medical ethics also enter into the question”
synonyms: moral code, morals, morality, moral stand, moral principles, moral values, rights and wrongs, principles, ideals, creed, credo, ethos, rules of conduct, standards (of behavior), virtues, dictates of conscience
“the ethics of journalism”
the moral correctness of specified conduct.
“many scientists question the ethics of cruel experiments”
the branch of knowledge that deals with moral principles.

Source: Google

Did you see this op-ed piece in the El Paso Times this weekend?

Recently, Mayor Dee Margo chose to disparage the 2016 findings by the City’s Ethics Review Commission that City Manager Tommy Gonzalez violated the City’s Ethics Ordinance. He told the El Paso Times that he felt the commission “overstepped its bounds” and echoed those sentiments in El Paso Inc. He and the City Council then chose to spend taxpayer money to reimburse over $58,000 in attorney’s fees that Gonzalez incurred in his failed attempt to defeat the complaint filed against him.

Contrary to the mayor’s comments, the commission’s monthslong, thorough investigation and conclusions were grounded in indisputable facts and careful analysis, while ensuring fair treatment of Gonzalez.

To recap, back in 2016 (from KVIA):

The El Paso Ethics Review Committee reviewing the ethics complaint filed against City Manager Tommy Gonzalez has determined Gonzalez violated the city’s ethics policy.

. . .

Gonzalez told the commission speed humps were installed on Stanton street for safety at request of community members. The city manager told the commission this was an operational decision which has nothing to do with ethics.

Gonzalez presented video of council meetings he says shows members of city council asking for flexibility when it came to swapping or selecting streets for re-surfacing.

Special Counsel Ross Fischer provided an email the city manager was copied on, stating speed humps on Stanton Street were not recommended.

The commission voted to give Gonzalez a letter of admonishment for authorizing the placement of speed humps in violation of city protocol and a letter of notification will be delivered to him for authorizing pavement of an alley that should have remained unpaved.

And that could have been the end of it, but then City Council decided that Mr. Gonzalez shouldn’t have had to pay his own legal fees, even though he was found to be violation of the City’s Ethics Ordinance.

From a different article in the city’s English language daily:

The El Paso City Council voted to reimburse City Manager Tommy Gonzalez for attorney’s fees in an ethics review that resulted in an admonishment in 2016.

Council approved a $58,537 reimbursement by a 5-1 vote during a special meeting Thursday evening at City Hall.

The reimbursement is for fees from Gonzalez’s attorney, Jim Darnell, from a hearing of the city’s Ethics Review Commission on June 1, 2016.

In 2016, the ethics commission found Gonzalez violated city policy regarding the resurfacing of an alley in then-West-Central city Rep. Larry Romero’s district and the placement of speed humps on Stanton Street in front of Cathedral High School — Romero’s alma mater.

“To me and the majority of council, this was a fairness issue,” Mayor Dee Margo said. “Reimbursement was owed. He paid that (legal cost) on his own and it should’ve been covered to begin with.”

Wow. Just wow. It’s not like he was cleared of the charges. Mr. Gonzalez violated the City’s Ethics Ordinance, but we the taxpayers are paying his legal fees.

So why not violate the Ethics Ordinance? You hire a high-powered lawyer to get you off with an admonishment, and then the taxpayers pick up your legal fees.

El Paso’s City Government is so crooked it can swallow nails and spit corkscrews. City Council has the moral fiber of a head of cabbage.

(To be fair, cabbage is a good source of dietary, though not moral, fiber.)

Come to think of it, if we replaced our elected officials with fruits and vegetables, we’d get pretty much the same results.

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