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Forest Park extends time for ethics-ruling response

Photo by Heather Middleton

Photo by Heather Middleton

By Kathy Jefcoats

kjefcoats@news-daily.com

The Forest Park City Council voted Monday night to extend the time the board has to make a final decision on ethics violations, allegedly committed by one of its members.

City Attorney Robert Mack said the delay was necessary because the deadline for the council to act conflicted with Councilwoman Karen-Brandee Williams' right to appeal. Williams has 30 days from May 25, to appeal the decisions against her, following an April 1 ethics hearing.

The bulk of the 25 complaints against Williams involve e-mails she sent to various city employees. Violations were alleged when the e-mails were considered to go against the city ordinances governing the behavior of elected officials. At their core, the ordinances forbid the mayor and councilmembers from personally benefiting from their positions.

An ethics hearing officer sustained 15 of the counts against Williams, clearing her of the remaining 10.

Williams voted against extending the time.

In other council news, three members of the Teen Council, a local organization that seeks to help young people learn leadership skills, and about their community through community service and other projects, addressed the board.

"We want to thank everyone who's supported us," said member, Anastasia Star.

Attending the meeting with Star, were Ky'wan Parker and David Hickson. All three are 15. Mayor Pro Tempore Sparkle Adams said the teens are planning a fashion show in September.

"They've worked real hard, and they are planning a fashion show with clothes made from recyclable materials, so they'll be looking for items to make the clothes," said Adams.

Adams said the show will be Sept. 10, at the Old Royal Palm on Main Street.

Teen Council members are also interning with different city departments as a way to learn more about government. Mayor Corine Deyton said she is proud of the young people.

"I attend the teen meetings, and it's kinda scary, they might be ready to take over our jobs," said Deyton. "They do a super job, and I thank them for what they're doing in learning about what we do."

The Teen Council maintains a web site at www.fpteen.com/1, and it hosts a Facebook page.