Thursday, December 2, 2010

Hannon Violates Rules Again

"A fish rots from the head down" - Chinese Proverb

Fire Starter considered addressing Mayor Hannon's latest smear with a detailed point by point response.  However, his smear of the fire department was so vague and redacted that there was no way that one could go line by line to refute his allegations.  And this was exactly Hannon's intent.  He is such an unmitigated coward that he is unwilling to hold his allegations up in the bright sunshine to allow for a full and fair evaluation of his claims.  Rather, he would prefer to indict through suggestion and innuendo.

But Fire Starter has been looking at another aspect of Hannon's latest petty thuggery.  Hannon seems to be a man who knows every letter of the rules but has no concept of justice.  This is why it is somewhat surprising that he is so blindly unaware of the Village of Johnson City Code of Ethics.

Under Section 2 of the Code of Ethics, the code is clearly states that it is to apply to "every officer or employee of the Village of Johnson City...".  One proscription in the Code notes "he/she shall not disclose confidential information acquired by them in the course of their official duties or use such information to further their personal interest".  Section 5 of the Code, entitled "Penalties" holds that "In addition to any penalty contained in any other provision of law, any person who shall knowingly and intentionally violate any of the provisions of this code may be fined, suspended, or removed from office or employment...".

That the document released by Hannon contained confidential information is without  question.  In addition to the various claims of misconduct by various fire fighters, it discloses specific allegations against retired Fire Marshal Robert Dempsey.  Such matters, as we are constantly advised by Mayor Hannon, are confidential and can not be disclosed.  That is unless there is something to be gained by Mayor Hannon.  Then the rules no longer apply.

Only the rules do apply.  Hannon is an officer of the Village.  The code applies to "officers and employees".  The Code prohibits the disclosure of confidential information acquired in the course of "official duties".  Hannon clearly disclosed confidential information regarding Dempsey and perhaps a number of other current and past fire department employees.  And Hannon seems to have done so for his own personal political benefit.  Three strikes and you're out.

Which brings us to the penalty phase.  Under penalties, violators may be "fined, suspended or removed from office...".  Perhaps we ought to start with the 30 day suspension that Hannon seems so fond of and investigate his removal from office in the meantime.  Certainly, we would not want to hold Hannon to any lower standard than he has applied to other Village employees and officers.

As evidence of the multiple abuses of power mount, it is time to consider whether Hannon needs to be removed from office.  He has lost all moral authority (if he ever had any).  The Village can not move forward with such corruption at the top.  It is time for Hannon to step down or be removed.

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