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Got Ethics? (Or that time in 2016 when the MSB signed a consulting contract with a sitting Assembly member)

Got ethics.

An Informational Memorandum IM 19-097 (with attachments) informing the Assembly of an FY2017 contract (Contract #17-011P) that the MSB signed (in December 2016) with (then sitting) Assembly Member Stephen Colligan for IT consulting services is on the agenda of the upcoming May 21st Assembly meeting.

IM 19-097

Better late than never? Why wasn’t the Assembly and/or the public informed about this contract at the time? Why didn’t the MSB staff ask the Assembly to approve said contract before it issued?

Colligan Legislation

In the Informational Memo, Manager Moosey states that “concerns have been raised” about the MSB’s contract(s) with Mr. Colligan (via his company E-Terra) and explains what happened.  The manager notes that he is filing this IM so that it can be discussed by the Assembly members.

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Although Mr. Colligan did not get paid for any work from the 2017 contract while he was on the Assembly, the contract was extended and he did get assigned tasks and did get paid via this contract during 2018 (which was within one year of him leaving the Assembly.)

NOTE: Mr. Colligan is also getting paid CURRENTLY (Spring 2019) to work as a consultant on a Census project..but because these payments are beyond one year after he left the Assembly, the Manager did not include information about it in the IM.

Didn’t anyone over at the MSB think – hey, this seems like it is a conflict of interest – signing a contract for consulting services (potentially worth UP to 100K !) with a sitting Assembly member? Didn’t they think – maybe this is not ethical or has the appearance of impropriety? Didn’t Mr. Colligan realize this? And then, when IT tasks were assigned to Mr. Colligan’s company via this contract in early 2018 – just after he left the Assembly – and when payments were issued to Mr. Colligan – didn’t anyone over at the MSB think – hey, this doesn’t seem to comport with the MSB’s Code of Ethics whereby no Assembly member can get paid work from the MSB within one year of leaving office unless approved by the Assembly (at a public meeting)? Also, don’t we have a legal dept with five attorneys? Aren’t they supposed to review all contracts? 

 

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This is why we desperately need 1) an online checkbook and 2) to change the Code so that the Assembly must approve ALL CONTRACTS (not just the very high dollar contracts) and all financial expenditures. 

FOOTNOTE as to what may have prompted this IM. I put in a Public Records Request back in Sept 2018 for all correspondence btw. the MSB and Stephen Colligan from Oct 2017 (when he left the Assembly) until present. The MSB finally released the records to me a couple of weeks ago.  Assembly member Jesse Sumner kindly paid the MSB’s fee of approx $440. So I got the records on Monday April 29, 2019. (The MSB wouldn’t release the records until the fee was paid. Were they trying to run down the one year clock? Hmmm. FYI – all Ethics Complaints must be filed within one year of an Ethics violation.  Also – there seem to be many records still missing; I have sent a note to the MSB inquiring about the missing documents but so far, no response from the MSB.)

Further Note: Mr. Colligan’s non profit Drone Racing League group obtained permission from the MSB to race out at Jim Creek a couple of years ago (and now they are seeking to set up a formal drone park on 50 acres with some sort of drone airport infrastructure but so far, I have had no luck in obtaining any documents showing the proposal despite me asking several times) but that is a another story.  Did he get preferential treatment re: using Jim Creek?

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