Judge dismisses ethics complaint against Homer officials

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HOMER, Alaska (AP) – An administrative law judge has dismissed an ethics complaint brought against former and current members of the Homer City Council, saying the complaint is “without merit in all respects.”

Larry Zuccaro filed the complaint in late July, claiming three officials violated the city’s ethics code when they voted to certify a recall election involving them, The Homer News reported .

The complaint claimed former council members David Lewis and Catriona Reynolds and current council member Donna Aderhold should have declared a conflict of interest. It claimed Lewis also violated code when he seconded a motion on the same matter.

Zuccaro was one of the backers of a petition that aimed to remove the three council members from office, but it failed during the special June election. Lewis and Reynolds chose not to run for re-election after completing their terms in October.

The local group Heartbeat of Homer aimed to remove the three from office after the officials had sponsored a resolution that stated the city was committed to principles of inclusion regardless of someone’s race, religion, gender or nation of origin. The group challenged the resolution, claiming it supported so-called sanctuary cities.

The resolution failed with Reynolds’ vote the only one in favor of it.

In his 11-page decision made public last week, Judge Andrew Lebo said the city officials did not commit any ethical violations. Furthermore, he characterized the complaint as an attempt to further Zuccaro’s political agenda.

“If there is any ‘appearance of impropriety’ in these events, it is in the apparent misuse of the ethics code to further political pursuits,” Lebo said.

Zuccaro and his attorney did not return the newspaper’s requests for comment.

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Information from: The Homer (Alaska) News, http://www.homernews.com