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Aberdeen, Md., panel says mayor broke ethics code with Augusta baseball stadium visit

Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011 5:47 PM
Last updated 7:48 PM
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A four-member Aberdeen, Md., ethics panel has decided that Mayor Michael Bennett broke the city’s ethics code when he made an Oct. 3 Augusta visit on behalf of Ripken Baseball.

“It’s the opinion of this commission that Mayor Bennett did not willfully violate the Aberdeen Code of Ethics, but because of a series of imprudent actions and failure to think through the implications of these actions, violations did occur,” a Nov. 1 report from the panel states.

The commission wrote that Bennett failed to disclose in advance a potential conflict of interest and used the prestige of his office for the private gain of another, but that Ripken’s paying for his travel to Augusta did not constitute an unpermitted gift.

The panel admonished Bennett but offered no other sanction for the violations.

During his visit with Augusta Rotarians, Bennett defended his city’s 2002 decision to build a new stadium for the Ripken-owned Aberdeen Ironbirds. Ripken is seeking Augusta’s participation in financing a new stadium for the Augusta GreenJackets.

The ethics complaint was filed by Patrick McGrady, a candidate opposing Bennett for the mayor’s post in Tuesday’s general election.

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broad street narrow mind
348
Points
broad street narrow mind 11/03/11 - 05:38 pm
0
0
didn't he also gloss over or
Unpublished

didn't he also gloss over or misrepresent the financial burden the ripken stadium has been for aberdeen?

Riverman1
90141
Points
Riverman1 11/03/11 - 05:46 pm
0
0
"The commission wrote that

"The commission wrote that Bennett failed to disclose in advance a potential conflict of interest and used the prestige of his office for the private gain of another, but that Ripken’s paying for his travel to Augusta did not constitute an unpermitted gift."

So does everyone think he did it out of the goodness of his heart? We need one of those ethics panels down here. But let's carry this a bit further. If he violated ethics rules what about those here who used him to get their pro-stadium point across?

Taylor B
5
Points
Taylor B 11/03/11 - 07:03 pm
0
0
shame shame shame!

shame shame shame!

Riverman1
90141
Points
Riverman1 11/03/11 - 07:10 pm
0
0
Does everyone see how this

Does everyone see how this validates those of us who speak out against the subterfuge of the cabal? Maryland said, yep, it's not right. When we say it here we are attacked by some in the media who said it was only an airplane ride and we are trying to make trouble.

CorporalGripweed
0
Points
CorporalGripweed 11/03/11 - 07:33 pm
0
0
Duh! No surprise here.We knew

Duh! No surprise here.We knew it all along..I love the line "used his office for the private gain of another". Sounds so much like what we have in power in Augusta doesn't it? May not be illegal...but is it right? I submit a resounding...
NO......
Those who have been manipulating the system for generations aren't likely to change their tactics now.But we can and should continue to shine light upon them.
Roaches scatter when they see light...no matter how much money they have....These roaches just have a bit more money than the rest of us.

Jilly Bean
0
Points
Jilly Bean 11/03/11 - 08:50 pm
0
0
From this article it doesnt

From this article it doesnt sound like he did much wrong , other than get a note saying he could go on the field trip. Some of you are reading only what you want to see, "but that Ripken’s paying for his travel to Augusta did not constitute an unpermitted gift." Somebody did not include the rest of the sentence so its pretty simple to see that their views are slanted. Augusta needs a ethics code for its city leaders. It might finally scare some of them to do the right thing.

Iwannakno
1533
Points
Iwannakno 11/03/11 - 10:29 pm
0
0
So Austin was wrong! My my
Unpublished

So Austin was wrong! My my my...he won't admit it though.

countyman
21242
Points
countyman 11/04/11 - 01:53 am
0
0
The Golf and Gardens property

The Golf and Gardens property is still not producing revenue... We need younger people, transplants, and strong leadership to move the Regency Mall, Golf and Gardens, Augusta Corporate Park, etc forward.. I would love to see the mix-use development or the GHSU research park along the river.. Even building a park consisting of waterfalls, greenspace, pedestrian bridges, and is much better than nothing.

Where is the Riverwalk of this decade? Bold, wise, and visionary leadership.... Charleston and Savannah I can understand, but there's no excuse why Columbia, Greenville, Chattanooga, Winston Salem, Greensboro, etc have a better downtown than Augusta. Downtown Augusta is starting to grow faster now, but we still have a long way to go.

Can we atleast build one LED screen downtown? It's amazing how simiple lighting and sound can change perceptions. How about a major landscaping/sidewalk/bike lane project for Deans Bridge, Gordon Hwy, Peach Orchard, Windsor Spring, Tobacco, Wrighstboro, Wheeler, Washington, Riverwatch, Laney Walker, Walton Way, Broad, and Reynolds? Where is the large park downtown similar to other cities?

countyman
21242
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countyman 11/04/11 - 01:54 am
0
0
Intresting..

Intresting..

Brad Owens
4859
Points
Brad Owens 11/04/11 - 03:16 am
0
0
Jilly Bean, facts are

Jilly Bean, facts are stubborn things.

Augusta resident
1368
Points
Augusta resident 11/04/11 - 03:20 am
0
0
Who cares? It isn't like he

Who cares? It isn't like he got tickets to the masters.

Riverman1
90141
Points
Riverman1 11/04/11 - 05:05 am
0
0
Jilly Bean, I know what you

Jilly Bean, I know what you mean. This is the key part: "The commission wrote that Bennett failed to disclose in advance a potential conflict of interest and used the prestige of his office for the private gain of another..."

So he is helping Ripken spin this thing here. Why does anyone think he would help even though he risked this ethics violation? Plane ticket? Ha.

david jennings
624
Points
david jennings 11/04/11 - 06:16 am
0
0
Looks like we are going to

Looks like we are going to get this stadium whether we want it or not,I just hope they make sure who owns the property before it is built.

Little Lamb
47856
Points
Little Lamb 11/04/11 - 07:35 am
0
0
A couple of posters up above

A couple of posters up above wrote that Augusta needs an ethics panel. If we got rid of unethical Augusta government employees, city government would grind to a halt. Come to think of it, that might be a good thing.

Little Lamb
47856
Points
Little Lamb 11/04/11 - 07:38 am
0
0
Coutyman wrote, “The Golf and

Coutyman wrote, “The Golf and Gardens property is still not producing revenue.”

Well, that property belongs to the state of Georgia. The vast majority of the state of Georgia's properties do not produce revenue. In fact, it is not a good idea for the state to be in the "revenue producing" business. Governments should promote public safety and provide a court system for dispute resolution. That's about it. They certainly should not get into collusion with private businessmen in minor-league baseball.

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 11/04/11 - 10:41 am
0
0
LL, they do, if they believe

LL, they do, if they believe their office is not OF and FOR the people, but their own private boy's club. That's what we have here, and it doesn't work very well.

justthefacts
23739
Points
justthefacts 11/04/11 - 10:46 am
0
0
"private boy's club"..I

"private boy's club"..I resemble that remark.

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