Dawsonville City Councilmember, Post 4, Mark French will go before the city’s Ethics Board on Friday, Dec. 20.
He faces nine Ethics Ordinance complaints, all stemming from an incident in which he directed city manager Bob Bolz to consult with the city’s legal team to answer a legal question posed by a private citizen, Steve Sanvi.
Sanvi is French’s employer, and the official ethics complaints states that French’s “failure to disclose his relationship with Mr. Sanvi and his failure to recuse himself is a violation of this section of the Code of Ethics.”
The alleged ethics violations also extend to French’s actions while in a City Council meeting on Nov. 18. While in the meeting, French voted against the motion to insert his ethics complaint into the agenda.
The full list of the nine sections of the Ethics Ordinance that French is accused of breaking are listed below:
1. Sec. 2-77 (1) No city official shall use such position to secure special privileges or exemptions for himself or herself or others, or to secure confidential information for any purpose other than official duties on behalf of the city.
2. Sec. 2-77 (2) No city official, in any matter before the council or other city body, relating to a person or entity in which the official has a substantial interest, shall fail to disclose for the records such interest prior to any discussion or vote or fail to recuse himself or herself from such discussion or vote as applicable.
3. Sec. 2-77 (6) All public funds shall be used for the general welfare of the people and not for personal gain.
4. Sec. 2-77 (10) No city official shall use city facilities, personnel. equipment, or supplies for private purposes, except to the extent such are lawfully available to the public.
5. Sec. 2-77 (11) No city official shall grant or make available to any person any consideration, treatment, advantage, or favor, beyond that which it is the general practice to grant or make available to the public at large.
6. Sec. 2-77 C12) A city official shall not directly or indirectly make use of, or permit others to make use of, official information not made available to the general public for the purpose of furthering a private interest.
7· Sec. 2-77 (14) A city official shall not order any goods and service for the city without prior authorization for such expenditure. No city official shall attempt to obligate the city or give the impression of obligating the city without proper prior authorization.
8. Sec. 2-78Ca) A city official may not participate in a vote or decision on a matter affecting an immediate family or any person, entity or property in which the official has a substantial interest.
9. Sec. 2-78 (c) A city official may not participate in a vote or decision on a matter in a financial or other personal interest, direct or indirect, which is incompatible with the proper discharge of his official duties or which would tend to impair his independence of judgment or action in the performance of his official duties.
The full ethics complaint will be published on our website.
The ethics board is tasked with determining the merit of the charges. They can either dismiss the complaints as frivolous or determine that they are indeed violations of the Ethics Ordinance. If they find that French’s actions rise to the level of Ethics violation, they will recommend a punishment ranging from a reprimand to removal from office.
The City Council would then be asked to vote on the official punishment.
Dawson County News will be livestreaming the hearing.