Jones saga comes to a close

At long last.

A three-member panel led by Mayor Annise Parker has found insufficient cause to believe Councilwoman Jolanda Jones breached council ethics violations documented in a city investigation.

In a four-page report, the panel also criticized the Office of Inspector General investigation for its “lack of thoroughness” and for finding in some cases that Jones broke rules that do not even apply to her as an elected official.

Though the report notes some concerns about Jones’ behavior, it largely clears her of any violations of city rules and ends all inquiries into whether Jones used her city resources to support her private law practice.


The panel, on which Councilwoman Sue Lovell and Councilman C.O. Bradford also sit, came to an agreement with Jones that requires her to remove her council phone number from the card. The agreement also calls for her to conduct ethics training for her staff, to take steps to separate her council business from her law practice and to create records that show any employee who drives her to court is not doing so on city time.

The panel could have sent the matter to the entire council for possible sanction that could have included removing Jones from office. But the panel declined to forward the matter, and its action today concludes an eight-month saga that produced little physical evidence of violations of law beyond a single business-related fax sent from her council office fax machine.

You can see the panel report at the link above. Last week, the DA declined to bring charges against CM Jones in the matter, so this was the last item on the to do list. At the time, Mayor Parker said she wanted to defer till after the election, but CM Jones wanted to get it done, so I presume the Mayor acceded to her wishes. May we not see any reason for another ethics panel for a long time.

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4 Responses to Jones saga comes to a close

  1. Jules says:

    It’s thanks to people like you Charles that this panel went forward now and did not wait until after the election. Keep up the good work!

  2. JJMB says:

    The way I read the report:

    1) she violated (a)
    2) she violated (b).  Even though it says the Panel “was unable to determine” whether Jones directly ordered that a city fax machine be used, that makes no sense because in (c) the Panel DOES determine that a City employee notarized and sent a fax for Jones.  This item (b) wording is clearly a compromise between Panel members, but come on, we can figure it out, can’t we?
    3) she violated (c) as to the fax and as to being driven to court except that maybe an 8-hour employee of the City is only paid for 5 hours and does 3 as a “volunteer” so maybe that’s okay (huh? Can that employee sit in City Hall  for 3 hours a day and do campaign work for Jones? Makes no sense)
    4-6) even though the Mayor’s executive orders on ethics do not apply to Council Members (why not?  The Mayor swears them in. This makes no sense), the Panel found that Jones ordered her staff to violate the orders, thus the staff all breached the City’s ethics
    7) Jones has to change her card and take the CITY HALL telephone number off
    8) Jones staff has to have ethics training
    9) Jones has to “physically separate” her business from her Council duties (duh!)
    10) Jones has to keep records showing that when she makes City employees drive her back and forth to court, that they do it during their “volunteer” time at the office in City Hall and not during their “real” time
    11) Jones has to acknowledge and accept responsibility for her actions in order to uphold ethics
    12) but after all that, after 1-11 items go against Jones, it is not in “the best interests of the City” to go any further. 

    And all news reports focus on a footnote — a footnote — criticizing the OIG.  And that footnote is very mild and says there was some lack of corroboration “in the initial investigation.”  Which of course means that there WAS corroboration in a follow-up.  Sure, I’d prefer they get it right the first time, but the “criticism” itself admits the OIG got it right. 

  3. Joshua bullard says:

    she will come close-real close-there will be no run off-cm jolanda jo jones unseated-you can bank on it.respectfully submitted joshua ben bullard

  4. Jules says:

    How quickly this was resolved shows what a creep Parker was being by trying to postpone this until after the election.

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