Aide off the hook?: Assembly to re-examine Chumley legislation

Posted: Monday, March 08, 2010

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly expects to drop the pending legislation against the mayor's former chief of staff at its next meeting.

Such a decision would mark the final step in putting to rest the conflict surrounding Hugh Chumley.

The possible legal action against Borough Mayor Dave Carey's former aide stems from Chumley's failure last summer to fill out the necessary paperwork before his company sold vehicle maintenance equipment to the borough.

The $18,000 sale, made without a required conflict of interest document, constitutes a crime, according to borough ordinance, and could carry a $500 fine, 30-day jail sentence or both.

Chumley announced his resignation on Jan. 22, saying he needed "to focus on my family and other interests and needs."

Mako Haggerty, a south peninsula assemblyman, made the original Dec. 1 motion to direct the legal department to pursue a civil remedy against Chumley. At the same meeting, the assembly tabled Haggerty's motion.

Haggerty said he plans to resurface the pending legislation at the April 6 meeting with the intention of quashing it. He said putting the motion back on the table is a necessary step in eliminating the motion.

"This is the procedural way to get rid of it. Every meeting it's on the agenda. Voting it down puts it all behind us," he said.

Assembly President Pete Sprague said he thinks it is appropriate to remove the pending legislation.

"I don't think we need to have Mr. Chumley's name out there when he's not even employed by borough anymore," Sprague said. "We don't need to see this in every assembly packet."

At its Jan. 5 meeting, the assembly defeated an ordinance that would have authorized the sale between Chumley's Inc. and the borough and waived Chumley's requirement to file the necessary paperwork.

Duane Bannock, formerly the Spruce Bark Beetle Mitigation Program director, stepped in as the mayor's acting of chief of staff on Feb. 19.

Andrew Waite can be reached at andrew.waite@peninsulaclarion.com



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