Ethics board finds councilman unethical

By GABRIEL GOODWIN
Sunday Times Newspapers

ALLEN PARK — The Allen Park Board of Ethics unanimously decided Wednesday that Councilman Angelo DeGuilio violated the city’s code of ethics and said his punishment should be decided by his peers.

They found DeGuilio guilty of violating two ethical principles held for government officials — the principle of respectability and fitness for public office and the principle of congeniality and productivity — with his actions and words toward Police Officer Wayne Albright and retired Police Officer Russell Pillar.

The board voted 4-0. Board Member Levon King was not present at the previous meeting, July 30, and abstained from voting.

“They are two police officers who are sometimes called to put their lives on the line for the residents of Allen Park,” Chairmen Douglas Blaikie said. “Whether you agree or strongly disagree if they’ve been belittled or defamed, the situation still brings ethical concerns.”

The board made the motion to acknowledge the violations and referred the consequences to be decided upon by the city council at a future meeting. Blaikie said there wasn’t much doubt over the comments made, but the consequences should not be handed out by the board.

“I am hesitant to recommend any specific punishment here,” he said. “It needs to come from his peers because they are held to the same ethical standards.”

During residents’ comments, two councilmen had conflicting opinions about the board’s decision.

Councilman Dennis Hayes said some of the city’s current councilors weren’t present at the Aug. 21, 2012, meeting and do not have all the facts the ethics board has, which leaves them to make an uninformed decision. He said he believed the board was trying to relinquish their remaining responsibilities.

Councilman Henry Sisko said the board made the right decision in referring that decision to the council.

“This board is doing exactly the right thing by giving that responsibility to the council,” he said. “The council chambers is where it all began and should be where it all ends.”

(Gabriel Goodwin can be reached at ggoodwin@bewickpublications.com.)

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