Commissioner Ilene Lieberman has taken issue with my column intimating that she was behind the suggested amendments to the proposed Broward County ethics ordinance. She states:
The purpose of this e-mail is to request a retraction for
your comments in your recent column wherein you state that the County Attorney
authored changes to the proposed code of ethics on my behalf. Nothing could be
further from the truth.
Please be advised that I am not the sponsor of any of the
items which weakened the ethics code. I did not instruct the County Attorney to
prepare any such amendments and have been out of town for most of the summer
break. The items I have sponsored apply the very same code of ethics to city
officials and their employees as well as to the Sheriff, Clerk of the Courts,
Property Appraiser and Supervisor of Elections.
I am also the sponsor of the ordinance to prohibit advisory board
members from lobbying the division which staffs their boards and the ordinance
which prohibits commissioners from voting on items where their campaign manager
is the lobbyist. All of this information
is public record.
Prior to writing your column, I am surprised you made absolutely no effort to contact me to verify your assertions. You certainly could have called or e-mailed me and I would have responded. Since the County Attorney copied every Commissioner today on his letter to you, I learned that you failed to contact him as well.
One of the prices we pay for living in a democracy is that the Press enjoys broad freedoms under the first amendment to the United States Constitution. I would hope that you would use that privilege to report verifiable information and not unsubstantiated gossip. I can substantiate everything in this e-mail and will be glad to send you any other materials you request.