Five Columbia residents have filed a formal ethics complaint against Russell Swatek, the Columbia Council representative from the Village of Long Reach. The complaint, contained in a letter to the Columbia Council board chair, alleges that “his appointment as Spokesperson for Taxpayers Against Giveaways (TAG), has become involved in a private activity that has already and will continue to conflict with his objectivity in protecting and promoting the interests of the Columbia Association and the Long Reach Village Association.”
At a recent Columbia Association board meeting Mr. Swatek was actively gathering signatures for his petition to subject the Columbia Town Center redevelopment legislation to referendum.
The letter, signed by Jud Malone, Phil Engelke, Lin Eagan, Linda Odum and Patrick Von Schlag, cites the boards’ ethics policy which states that board members “must act in the interest of the whole community of Columbia and not simply as a representative of a particular village or constituency. Once all constituent perspectives are established and acknowledged, they must be considered in relation to the perspective of the entire community of Columbia.”
“We are believe that it would be in the best interest of the community of Columbia for Mr. Swatek to voluntarily resign his position as CA Board Member. Should he choose not to take that action we are hereby requesting that this report alleging misconduct by Mr. Swatek be considered as serious and be promptly addressed and fully investigated according to procedures established in CA Code of Ethics documents.”
It will be interesting to see how the board responds.
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