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4/24/2013 9:32:00 AM
Dewey-Humboldt Conduct Code
McBrady signs document amid haggling over sanctions

Sue Tone
Reporter


Efforts to sanction a Dewey-Humboldt council member for failure to sign the town's Code of Conduct led to an argument between the mayor and town attorney on April 16.

Mayor Terry Nolan questioned town attorney Phyllis Smiley, with Curtis, Goodwin, Sullivan, Udall & Schwab, PLC, eight times whether she found it proper to discuss council member Mark McBrady's alleged violations of the Code of Conduct, and whether McBrady should recuse himself as council member for the discussion.

McBrady informed the council and audience at the April 16 council meeting, that he signed the Code of Conduct the previous Friday, April 12.

Vice Mayor Dennis Repan, who placed the item on the agenda, said his reason for the agenda item was to figure out how the council could "bridge this from happening in the future."

"We still have a code infraction. How do we handle this?" Repan asked the council.

Mayor Nolan asked Smiley five times if discussing alleged violations of McBrady was legal as stated on the agenda. Smiley said each time the agenda item was fine as written, and the council could discuss the matter in public since McBrady requested it heard in public and not executive session.

Nolan also protested the decision of council and attorney to have McBrady step down as council member during the discussion, even after Smiley assured him that McBrady could answer any allegations as a private citizen. Nolan promptly declared a recess and left the room. The attorney, after consulting Robert's Rules of Order, said the mayor was out of order, and the council continued the discussion without him.

Council member Nancy Wright brought up McBrady's previous code infraction, court hearing and fine, to which Smiley said the council could find a violation of the Code of Conduct.

When Nolan returned to the dais, he cited a previous town Code of Conduct that the council "extinguished" in its entirety in August 2011, replacing it with the current shorter version.

Repan said he appreciated McBrady signing the Code of Conduct, and asked whether to move forward with sanctions. The attorney said the Code of Conduct does not give a procedure for this, and all the council could do, if there was a violation, was to censure McBrady.

"You cannot impose a fine or remove him from council," she said.

"That's the point. How do we handle this?" Repan asked. "To me, this is a learning session. Do we want to do anything with this? That's the question I had for council."

McBrady, speaking as a citizen, explained how the council approved the new Code of Conduct in 2011, but it was a year later that staff placed it in his and other council members' box for signature. At that time, he was dealing with health issues and said he didn't remember if staff told him about it or not. He had been concerned about the language and intent of the new Code at the time council put it together. He asked at that time that it not be used to censure, and that the council remove the section about violating town ordinances.

McBrady also explained his previous violation and fine, and said the collection agency "didn't do a very good job." The $1,600 fine he owes the town is included in the reorganization plans under his bankruptcy, he said.

"This is a way of discrediting me," McBrady told the council. "If I had known about it earlier, I would have signed it (Code of Conduct)."

Repan said the issue was cloudy, as stated by the attorney, and asked to move forward.

Council member Nancy Wright said council members' behavior should be above reproach. "When we have someone on the town council and there are violations, we need a process to say 'Straighten up and fly right.' If we have a Code of Conduct, we should obey it."

Town Manager Yvonne Kimball said her staff provided McBrady with the unsigned Code of Conduct several times since she was hired 15 months ago. McBrady said he didn't remember if staff had told him about the papers.

In other action, the council:

• Approved the appointment of Barry Smylie to the Planning and Zoning Commission.

• Approved a special event liquor license for Mortimer Farms.

• Approved the selection of Enterprise Technical Support Services.

The council agreed to revisit the recent development fee legislation and Open Books Web Posting agreement with the Arizona Department of Administration. It also discussed the possible purchase, sale or lease of town offices in executive session.

The next council meeting is 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 7, at Town Hall.

Related Stories:
• Dewey-Humboldt vice mayor upset at McBrady's failure to sign Code of Conduct


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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, April 28, 2013
Article comment by: Russ Ahrens

Mr McBrady is a non-entity. Let him sit there in council and sleep or escort him out through a recall. At least let a fresh pair of eyes sit on council. Mayor Nolan's 'nother issue. Now he wants to be a lawyer (code of conduct issue). There's no end to his coercive behavior.

Posted: Saturday, April 27, 2013
Article comment by: Nancy Wright

The controversy regarding Councilman McBrady and the signing of the Code of Conduct is not an issue of whether or not he had to file bankruptcy or is a nice person. It is an issue of whether or not someone in authority is required to obey the laws he swore to uphold. This is the same issue that we see with the Iron Brotherhood and the PV police photo camera. I am sure the men involved were ďniceĒ. Did it cause a stain on character of all the police departments involved? Yes. Many people are less confident that those in charge are doing what is best for the community and not just looking out for their own best interests. Donít we expect those in authority to be held to a higher standard than the average citizen? I believe we do and should.
Councilman McBrady did not want the discussion in an Executive Session and then complained that he was being picked on in public. Mr. McBrady says he was concerned about his cancer diagnosis and therefore didn't recall receiving the Code of Conduct to sign. The new Code of Conduct was passed in August 2011 a year prior to his cancer diagnosis and surgery. Additionally, staff provided him with a copy several times after he received the original copy.
Councilman McBrady ignored and refused to abide by not only the Town Code but an Arizona Revised Statute that requires a licensed commercial contractor be hired for any work on commercial property. He received multiple notices of violation but ignored them because he didn't agree with that law. He then didn't show up for the Hearing and a fine was awarded by default. Now he says it will be taken care of (removed??) in bankruptcy. I donít know whether this is true or not as some fines are not removed in bankruptcy. But each of us has the right to protest if we feel a law is wrong or unfair. We also have to step up to the plate and be prepared to live with the consequences if we lose the argument. Try not paying your income taxes or withholding a portion that you feel is going to a budget item you donít agree with and see if the IRS overlooks and forgives.
The Town Council was never trying to get rid of Mr. McBrady as that can only be done by the voters in a recall election. It was trying, I believe, to get Mr. McBrady to see that his actions caused damage to our local government and further eroded the confidence the public has in its elected officials. It could have easily been resolved by his immediately signing the Code of Conduct (which he voted to change to its present form) when he discovered he had not done so. Because he did not the Council must decide what to do to restore the publicís confidence in their government.


Posted: Saturday, April 27, 2013
Article comment by: Nancy Wright

Mayor Nolan has a misconception on what his role is as the Mayor. He thinks it is to control the council. It is not! He is to control the meeting so there is not chaos and he does so by ensuring that the parliamentary rules are followed by everyone, including himself. He is to impartially allow each person time to speak. He is not there to debate or interrupt them. As mayor he is still allowed to make and second motions and vote as any other council person can and express his opinion but he does not have a veto right. He cannot arbitrarily keep an item on the agenda from being discussed or recess a meeting without a majority vote of the council. Dewey-Humboldt has a Council-Manager form of government not a Mayor-Manager form of government.



Posted: Friday, April 26, 2013
Article comment by: Chris Berry

I made my comments, not so much in defense of Mr. McBrady in particular, but in defense of anyone in that same position. That would include you Mr. Concerned. Town council members should be fair & impartial, (Isn't that in the code of ethics?). Mr. Concerned, in your comments you make a number of statements that in a court of law would be considered hearsay and not admissable. Government should be held to the highest standard of law. Accusations should be proven by incontributable evidence before being accepted as fact. Once you have those things you then have the resource for legal action. But, before you set out to implement legal action you need to make sure that you have the authority to do so. Those are rights and protections given to all of us by our constitution. Heresay, inadmissable evidence and personal feelings have no place in our town or any town's government. It is all about the search for truth and that truth being indisputable. I stated that I thought McBrady should step down, for his own reasons. So far, I have not seen enough compelling evidence backed by fact to force him to do so, nor have I seen the proof of authority to levy a fine against him for violating the code of ethics. I have however, seen a lot of personal animosities in the way of council's ability to be fair and impartial. I believe that our legal system works adequately enough when not tainted by things that have not been legally proven as fact. I feel secure enough in this belief that I am not afraid to attach my real name to my statements. I don't feel the need to hide behind a cowardly moniker.

Posted: Thursday, April 25, 2013
Article comment by: Concerned Citizen

So Chris, You didn't attend and you didn't watch the recorded video. And you gleened all of this because????? Aren't you the guy that ran with the signs about the asylum and you were the town's answer for a new mayor while attacking council members on your web site?? I guess you are not concerned as to ethics, the search for truth and maybe some people in council finally wanting to keep their own house clean and getting away from the good old boy label. Maybe wherever you are from, thats not a concern. Maybe you are not concerned that someones personal and business ethics just might be reflected in their council decision making process. You are correct, we need to separate the wheat from the chaff. Don't be concerned that the guy does not pay his bills, doesn't pay his code violations, holds the town over a barrel on the townhall lease,helps to take away one of the town's staff livelihood and his credibility and blames town staff for not holding his hand and treating him special. And as always, takes credit when it is in his favor, and denies or blames everyone else when things are not going his way. Hey wait a minute....sounds like someone in the federal government. Yep you've got a handle on it. How many votes did you get?

Posted: Thursday, April 25, 2013
Article comment by: Chris Berry

There are a number of points to be addressed in this article. First, at Mark McBrady's request the allegations of his code infractions were heard in public. So, having said that, the chips should have been allowed to "fall as they lay". As regards Mayor Nolan, although I rarely agree with his politics, I know him as being one of the most compassionate people in our town. I wasn't there and did not watch the meeting but I can probably guess at why he reacted the way he did. Was it "out of order"? Probably, but understandable under the circumstances. Who wouldn't want to put an end to this imbecilic freak show? The whole thing was rediculous to start with in that it was a simple matter that could have been and was handled by Mr. McBrady's signing of the document. In all fairness, that should have been the end of the story. Instead, it became a political tool for, in my opinion, abuse of power and a vehicle for launching a personal and public smear campaign. Political forums are not the place to launch personal vendettas. Fining someone without the authority to do so, and knowing that the person is in dire financial strates is not only setting that person up for failure but also gives the appearance of being intentional and personal. Should Mr. McBrady step down? Probably, but not because certain council members have a political axe to grind against him. I've said it before...Being broke is not a crime. There but for the Grace of God go all of us. If Mr. McBrady steps down it should be because he needs to take this time to get his health and life back in order. We need to "seperate the wheat from the chaffe" in that the things that are legitimate political issues should be the only things addressed by our town council. Biased and personal issues have no place in public government forums. Its a waste of resources, taxpayer money, everyone's time and once again reflects badly on our town government.

Posted: Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Article comment by: David Nystrom, Dewey-Humboldt

As to Mayor Nolan's style in chairing this Town Council meeting - nothing has changed. Mayor Nolan overstepped his bounds shortly after starting his first term when he fired the chairperson of the Board of Adjustment. Then his spending habits with Town funds caused the Town Council to "take away" his Town credit card and require pre-approval of any of his activities that required a reimbursement of funds. There was nothing wrong with questioning the Town Attorney during the recent meeting, but in not getting the answer he wanted it was very inappropriate for him to continue arguing to the point of making sarcastic comments. Our Town Attorney (and everyone in our Town deserves more respect than that). Mayor Nolan also openly violated Robert Rules of Order which the Town Council is to follow according to Town Code. Unfortunately this also was not much of a surprise showing no respect for Town meeting procedures which he disagrees.

Respect is earned and with the actions during recent Town Council Meetings, much work needs to be done to earn back the respect of our Town.


Posted: Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Article comment by: David Nystrom, Dewey-Humboldt

Councilman McBrady has signed the Code of Conduct, but a dark cloud of mistrust still hangs over this entire issue. It has now reached the point where the Town of Dewey-Humboldt would function better if they discontinued future business dealing with Councilman McBrady. This is unfortunate, as Humboldt Station is a wonderful location for our Town offices. But, would the Town Council enter into a risky business relationship with any other organization that had unpaid fines to the Town while also seeking bankruptcy protection? I would think not. Would the Town Council normally do business with an individual or organization that has become a lightening rod for so much controversy? I would think not. So, it really shouldn't make an exception for a serving member of the Town Council. Hopefully as the lease on Humboldt Station expires, the Town Council will look to other options for a future location of Town offices.





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