Wednesday, June 5, 2013

To recuse or not to recuse?


    I was a Sun Valley city councilman for 16 years and have an understanding of the ethical requirements related to governing. I have been disappointed in council members Nils Ribi, Franz Suhadolnik and Mayor Dewayne Briscoe’s refusal to address their conflict of interest regarding the proposed Juniper Road augmentation and streetlight.
    During the time I served the people of Sun Valley as an elected official, I observed recusals and while the law may not have specified that these recusals were required, it was the ethical thing to do.
    The council members own homes and the mayor’s fiancee has a rental home accessed by Juniper Road. In a recent article, the mayor has attempted to justify his position by stating neither he nor any relative or friend own property there. He has stated in council meetings how much time he travels Juniper visiting his fiancee.
    I witnessed the mayor recuse himself regarding this matter. Now he has recanted this position.
    The mayor and council members stated there is a public safety issue at this intersection, providing only unsubstantiated safety claims. They have not evaluated any other intersection in the city. Why evaluate only this intersection? If they lived on a different street, would Juniper be a concern?
    The ethical action for the mayor and council members is to recuse themselves from further involvement on this issue. Using a loophole in the Idaho State statutes to justify their actions is wrong. The remaining council members can be entrusted with the decision.
    The attorney general in the Idaho State Ethics Manual states, “Proper analysis of ethical statutes should not be for loopholes or technicalities by which one can take advantage of government, the public, or other interested parties. If your analysis requires that you find a loophole within Idaho’s ethical statutes, then your conduct is likely unethical.”
Kevin Laird
Sun Valley




About Comments

Comments with content that seeks to incite or inflame may be removed.

Comments that are in ALL CAPS may be removed.

Comments that are off-topic or that include profanity or personal attacks, libelous or other inappropriate material may be removed from the site. Entries that are unsigned or contain signatures by someone other than the actual author may be removed. We will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or any other policies governing this site. Use of this system denotes full acceptance of these conditions. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

The comments below are from the readers of mtexpress.com and in no way represent the views of Express Publishing, Inc.

You may flag individual comments. You may also report an inappropriate or offensive comment by clicking here.

Flagging Comments: Flagging a comment tells a site administrator that a comment is inappropriate. You can find the flag option by pointing the mouse over the comment and clicking the 'Flag' link.

Flagging a comment is only counted once per person, and you won't need to do it multiple times.

Proper Flagging Guidelines: Every site has a different commenting policy - be sure to review the policy for this site before flagging comments. In general these types of comments should be flagged:

  • Spam
  • Ones violating this site's commenting policy
  • Clearly unrelated
  • Personal attacks on others
Comments should not be flagged for:
  • Disagreeing with the content
  • Being in a dispute with the commenter

Popular Comment Threads



 Local Weather 
Search archives:


Copyright © 2019 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.