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ATL fire chief, 2012: ‘Cannot tolerate’ anti-gay slur

ATL fire chief, 2012: 'Cannot tolerate' anti-gay slur
February 6, 2015 --

Feb. 6, 2015 — Before Kelvin Cochran condoned his own anti-gay slurs, he condemned a much milder one made by an Atlanta firefighter under his command.

“We cannot tolerate this type of behavior from our members,” Cochran wrote in an August 2012 email about a firefighter’s use of the term “fags” in a Facebook comment. As fire chief, Cochran later suspended the firefighter for 30 days without pay.

Mayor Kasim Reed fired Cochran last month for unauthorized publication of a book that compared homosexuality to pederasty and bestiality. He’s filed an EEOC complaint alleging his firing violated his right to freedom of religion.

Councilman stung by ethics fine pushes oversight of ethics officer

Councilman stung by ethics fine pushes oversight of ethics officer
March 14, 2012 --

An Atlanta city councilman who tangled with the city’s ethics officer last year wants to place that job under the council’s control. Lamar Willis‘ proposal calls for the Board of Ethics to give the council three names to consider, rather than just one, to fill a vacancy pending since September. Ethics advocates fear the plan would politicize the appointment process and jeopardize the board’s independence. Former ethics officer Ginny Looney won settlements against Willis and five other council members since 2008. Willis said his proposal has nothing to do with his $3,500 ethics fine nor his complaint that the board’s case against him was “piling on” and not even “remotely necessary.”

ATL council member blurred line with $34K in spending

ATL council member blurred line with $34K in spending
November 7, 2010 --

Atlanta City Council member Cleta Winslow just paid an ethics fine for spending $5,420 of taxpayers’ money to boost her 2009 re-election campaign. But taxpayers also picked up the tab for nearly $29,000 more in spending that promoted Winslow’s name in the final weeks before last year’s voting. The payments blurred the line drawn by the city’s Ethics Code to separate city-sponsored events and campaign activities. Winslow collected reimbursements from her city expense account for jazz musicians, a disc jockey, an inflatable bouncer, a popcorn machine and other equipment, plus $8,000 worth of barbecue and side dishes. Click here for my full story on ajc.com. Click here for supporting documents for this story.

ATL council member fined for campaigning with city funds

ATL council member fined for campaigning with city funds
October 22, 2010 --

Longtime Atlanta City Council member Cleta Winslow will pay a $1,500 fine and $5,420 restitution for using city funds to print campaign literature and pay campaign workers to hand it out, under terms of a consent order OK’d Thursday. The order has no effect on the outcome of the November 2009 election. Winslow squeaked by to win a fifth term, avoiding a runoff by about 120 votes.

Local ethics boards get no respect

Local ethics boards get no respect
July 13, 2010 --

Twice a year, members of the Cobb County ethics board meet to deal with housekeeping matters. Then they go home. For a time last year, DeKalb’s ethics board couldn’t even muster a quorum. And in Fulton, a state legislator contends the ethics board cannot impose fines or sanctions because its members were appointed improperly. Bottom line: Local ethics boards get no respect.

Ethics Board: Delta discussions off-limits for ATL’s new COO

March 18, 2010 --

Atlanta’s chief operating officer, Peter Aman, must disqualify himself from discussing city business involving Delta Air Lines or any other client of his consulting firm, the city’s Board of Ethics said tonight. But, the board said, he’s fine if he wants to talk to Delta about budget issues or other matters that affect all tenants at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.