Friday, January 16, 2009

Breaking News: The Politically Clumsy GOP Former House Rep. Mark Walker is Finally Charged With a Misdemeanor

Per the D-News: One misdemeanor charge filed against Mark Walker in treasurer's race probe

In order to avoid killing off the lively discussion in the lower article thread, we'll walk lightly on this, even though this another story we've covered fairly extensively earlier. The long and short of it is detailed in this afternoon's Deseret News article:
Charge filed in treasurer's race probe
Does this development signal hope for ethics reform in the 2009 Utah Legislature?

We'll suggest that perhaps this latest development is a "baby step" in the right direction.

And what say our gentle readers about all this?


Ernie the Attorney said...

Let's not kid ourselves, people.

Walker is a Republican "Golden Boy," with big-time Mo-Mo connections.

He'll utlimately get off with a very minor plea bargained criminal "slap on the wrist," just as Bishop Godfrey's Brown Shirt Sturmabteilung Bobbie Geiger did.

get serious said...

Are you seriously suggesting a Republican legislative majority would actually and voluntarily pass real ethics reform in the upcoming session?

That would be like asking the world's worst philanderer to voluntarily cut off his own balls.

You can't possibly be serious about this.

you heard it here first said...

Hold all the presses!!!!
You Heard it here First......
You know how it snowed so hard on Christmas eve and then on though the next couple of days, and the roads were not plowed. Well here is the reason for this, The Mayor payed for the Chief Greiner the whiner's Fine on the Hatch Act, Out of the Streets Dept. over-time budget. That is a Whapping 211 grand, FOLKS. Chief greiner the whinier should have paid for it himself came out of all us taxpayers pockets. Thanks MAyor goffy.

Wm M said...

Hold on a second ...

You're saying Greiner's $211K fine was paid by Ogden City with Mayor Godfrey's approval?

Do you have proof?

what will it cost us said...

Isn't that mis-appropiation of funds? City council should hammer him on that if it is true.

Maybe the Trib will have an article on it soon.

Greiner makes enough as a triple dipper to pay his own fines, probably has pleny left over in his campaign funds. He should resign either position, full time chief can't be a senator and do either job well.

RudiZink said...

YHIF & Wm M.:

Frankly, this rumor doesn't even pass the initial smell-test, inasmuch as this matter hasn't even been set for hearing, and thus no penalty could have been assessed. Moreover, any monetary penalty which might arise from an unfavorable disposition (in a hypothetical case,) wouldn't be discharged by the immediate payment of a "fine," but would rather be deducted from federal grants in the future.

Just to be sure, I spoke with Jon Greiner a few moments ago, and he informs me that the rumor is flat untrue.

Hopefully this will put this matter to rest, at least for the time being.

Having said this, I'll add that I've done my own fairly considerable research regarding the matter, and just like Greiner's own attornies (and the Utah Attorney General,) I'm confident that Greiner's police chief duties, which do not involve the administration of federal funds, do not fall within the prohibitions of the Hatch Act. Ultimately I believe Greiner will prevail on the merits, either through administrative agency adjudication, or stipulation between Greiner's counsel and the attornies from the OSC office.

Wm M said...

Thanks for setting the record straight, Rudi ...

Curmudgeon said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, Rudi, but my understanding is that Greiner himself is not subject to any fine, that the penalty for his being police chief and a state legislator administering federal grant money [in alleged violation of the Hatch Act] would be assessed on the city, and would consist of the city having to return the federal grant money Greiner allegedly administered while holding both jobs. If that's so, claiming that "the city paid Greiner's fine" [even if the city does pony up] is wrong. It would be in any case the city's fine [and obligation to pay], not Chief Greiner's.

Of course, if he were truly an honorable man, he'd understand that it was his ambition that put the city and taxpayers on the spot in this case, and voluntary reimburse the public. But he's a Godfreyista Republican who let his political ambitions convince him he could be an elected official and part time police chief regardless of the Hatch Act, so I'm not holding my breath.

dan s. said...

Nevermind the Hatch Act. Greiner can't do two jobs at once. The city council should pass an ordinance prohibiting full-time salaried employees from moonlighting.

RudiZink said...

"...claiming that "the city paid Greiner's fine" [even if the city does pony up] is wrong. It would be in any case the city's fine [and obligation to pay], not Chief Greiner's."

That's essentially correct, according to my understanding, (althought use of the word "fine" is technically inaccurate.) Yes... in the hypothetical case (assuming a result unfavorable to Greiner,) the penalty would be the city's and would be deducted from future federal disbursements.

"Of course, if he were truly an honorable man, he'd understand that it was his ambition that put the city and taxpayers on the spot in this case..."

In the highly unlikely event of an unfavorable result, we're sure The Chief would "do what's right." But of course.

As I said before however... that's a bridge that I believe Greiner ain't going to have to cross.

And yes, Dan, the dual role situation presents an entirely different issue for Greiner, one that's been of course partly resolved, at least for the time being, by the voters of Senate District 18.

And asking the City Council to take up the issue on its own initiative is an interesting proposition, for sure. I confess I hadn't thought about that.

OgdenLover said...

Dan, while I like your idea, an anti-moonlighting ordinance would need to be carefully worded so as not to hurt rank-and-file underpaid municipal employees who may need to work nights at Lowe's or Smith's in order to pay their bills. There's a huge difference between Greiner's situation and that of a secretary.

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