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Friday, June 13, 2008

Boodling Up In Cincinnati: Ethics Laws Waived For America's City Hall Brass?

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- No sirens are wailing. But City Manager Milton J. Dohoney has submitted an emergency ordinance allowing him to "solicit and accept donations of money, in-kind contributions, and other things of value, for use in hosting the 2008 Large Cities Executive Forum to be held in Cincinnati July 10 through July 12, 2008." A link to the documents is here. The forum is an annual conclave of top officials from cities across the U.S. Their travel expenses are frequently paid for by taxpayers. This years gathering will be at the downtown Netherland Plaza Hotel.

Obviously, Dohoney wants the guests from City Halls across the country to have a good time. Maybe he'll score booze, cash, funny hats and taxicab chits to the riverboat casinos docked about 30 minutes away, just across the Ohio state line in Indiana. Dohoney's submission says "this ordinance is an emergency measure necessary for the preservation of public peace, healthy, safety and general welfare . . ."

Some inquiring minds are wondering: Is Dohoney worried the Large City Executive Forum visitors will sack and pillage Cincinnati if he doesn't pony up the convention swag?

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