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Ethics complaint filed against councilmembers Armintor and Meltzer

Ethics complaint filed against councilmembers Armintor and Meltzer

Ethics complaint filed against councilmembers Armintor and Meltzer
March 21
01:25 2019

An ethics complaint against Denton city council members for At Large Places 5 and 6, Deb Armintor and Paul Meltzer, was filed on Monday, according to correspondences with councilwoman Armintor.

The nature of the complaint and the identity of the complainant remains confidential until the complaint is either dismissed or placed on agenda for consideration by the Board of Ethics, according to city of Denton’s Ethics Ordinance.

Armintor acknowledged she is unaware of the context or reason behind the complaint but she presumes it is in response to deliberating and voting on matters relating to polling locations at UNT earlier this month. Armintor and Meltzer were previously barred from deliberating on matters relating to UNT after an ethics panel found conflicts of interest were present within the councilmembers relationship to the university earlier last month.

Meltzer’s wife and Armintor are both employed by UNT.

“I’m so relieved we finally have an ethics ordinance,” Armintor said. “But it’s definitely a work in progress.

Under the city of Denton’s Ethics Ordinance, once a complaint is approved by the city auditor and deemed “administratively complete,” the complaint is then referred to the chairperson of the Board of Ethics. Within five days of receiving the complaint, the chairperson will then assign the complaint to a panel for preliminary assessment.

Denton’s Board of Ethics Chairman Jesse Davis declined to comment on the substance of the complaints against Meltzer and Armintor.

“I’ve assigned the complaints to two three-member panels for review, as the code requires me to do,” Davis said. “I am not a member of either panel.”

Davis, who is also a candidate for Denton City Council District 3, temporarily stepped aside earlier this month after receiving an ethics complaint brought by Meltzer, according to the Denton Record-Chronicle. The complaint, which was found to baseless, contended that Davis should have recused himself from election-related matters pertaining to UNT.

Armintor said that strong municipality ordinances, as found in the city of Dallas ethics ordinance, “expressly prevent” individuals from serving on ethics committees, let alone the chair of that committee, while as a candidate. The current ethics ordinance, which was approved by city council in a 7-0 vote last May, does not require members of the ethics board to resign or recuse themselves from board duties while acting as a candidate for elected public office.

Armintor said if the ethics complaint was filed against herself and Meltzer relating to their role in UNT’s polling location earlier this month, it would not affect the inclusion of an early election and day-of election polling location being added at the Greek Life Center.

Featured Image: File.

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Ryan Higgs

Ryan Higgs

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1 Comment

  1. YourVoteMatters
    YourVoteMatters March 22, 12:39

    Davis should have assigned the issue of the polling to others on the board in the first place. He had already declared his own candidacy and should have stepped down from the board completely before or at the time of doing so. He had already made a partisan ad for the GOP, which was released 2 days after he filed to run for Council, and had appeared at a campaign event for another candidate just days before announcing. None of this is ethics board behavior. Now he accuses his opponents of being divisive.

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