Linda Elam: pot, kettle, black, & glass houses

Linda Elam did another mailing to Mt. Juliet voters last week. The point of this one was to directly attack Wendell Marlowe’s record.

Here’s the relevant section of the postcard mailing:

Point Number One: If you’re going to attack one of your opponents, it’s really not smart to misspell his name. Marlowe spells his first name “Wendell,” not “Wendall.”

Point Number Two: Something about a pot, a kettle, and the color black comes to mind. Also something about glass houses.

Mayor’s Elam’s flyer includes the question, “How can he be mayor if he can’t even follow the most basic laws?”

An excellent question! And it should be asked of Mayor Elam as well. It was just a little over a year ago that Mayor Elam was charged with four violations of the city’s ethics codes and censured by the City Commission.

One of the curious defenses mounted by Mayor Elam’s the City Attorney was that Mayor Elam could not have violated the City’s ethics code in August of 2006, because the ethics code wasn’t adopted until September of 2006. The audacity of pretending that Mayor Elam had no obligation to be ethical before the passage of the ethics code is breath-taking.

Mayor Elam’s The City Attorney seems to have overlooked the fact that the State of Tennessee, for many years, has had a number of ethics provisions that apply to all elected officials. It’s kind of funny, but the long-standing state ethics provisions for elected officials are actually referenced and summarized on the first page of the MTAS drafted ethics code which was originally adopted by the City of Mt. Juliet, along with the overwhelming majority of the 350 cities in Tennessee.

Here’s what the MTAS ethics code says (on the first page):

1State statutes dictate many of the ethics provisions that apply to municipal officials and employees. For provisions relative to the following, see the Tennessee Code Annotated (T.C.A.) sections indicated:

Campaign finance—T.C.A. Title 2, Chapter 10.

Conflict of interests—T.C.A. §§ 6-54-107, 108; 12-4-101, 102.

Conflict of interests disclosure statements—T.C.A. § 8-50-501 and the following sections.

Consulting fee prohibition for elected municipal officials—T.C.A. §§ 2-10-122, 124.

Crimes involving public officials (bribery, soliciting unlawful compensation, buying and selling in regard to office)—T.C.A. § 39-16-101 and the following sections.

Crimes of official misconduct, official oppression, misuse of official information—T.C.A. § 39-16-401 and the following sections.

Ouster law—T.C.A. § 8-47-101 and the following sections.

A brief synopsis of each of these laws appears in the appendix of the municipal code.

See here for a more detailed analysis of the ethics complaints filed against Mayor Linda Elam.

– Publius

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