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Ann Krane: 'Board of Ethics Approves Nepotism in Oxford'

Patch Graphic
Patch Graphic
[Editor's note: The following is a statement from Oxford resident Ann Krane.]

The Oxford Board of Ethics thinks nepotism among the elected officials and employees of the town is perfectly ok.

On January 28, the Oxford Board of Ethics met in executive session to hear my complaint concerning an alleged violation of the Code of Ethics. My complaint was in regard to the hiring of the son of the director of public works at the Dec 18 meeting of the Board of Selectmen. The son was hired  to work under the direct supervision of his father (nepotism).

The Board of Ethics said in its public minutes of the meeting that there was no basis to substantiate my complaint. They said I had not presented evidence of ethical violations.

What more evidence does the board need to show the conflict of interest, the family tie and the obvious nepotism. The Board of Selectmen, First Selectman and Director of Public Works all approved the hiring of the director’s son to work as a direct report to his father.

When a father’s son is hired to work for him, how can that not be preferential treatment and a violation of the Code of Ethics? The son should have been deemed ineligible to even apply for the job. 

Section 5.2.2 of the Code of Ethics says “officials and employees shall not offer or render preferential treatment to others on the basis of such factors as family ties, financial interests, friendship or political considerations.”

Section 5.2.5 says, ”officials and employees shall not engage in any business or transaction or have an interest, direct or indirect, which is incompatible with the proper discharge of the their official duties in the public interest..." 

The Board of Ethics is established to protect the best interests and the integrity of the town and to make sure that officials and employees comport themselves in a professional and ethical manner. This Board is supposed to be neutral and “above politics”.

Not this Board. Here, in Oxford, we have a Board of Ethics that thinks nepotism and the abuse of power is perfectly ok.

What a disservice to the residents of the town. This board has failed to carry out its responsibility to the residents of Oxford and the abuse of power goes on. Unfortunately, there is no appeal to this decision either. 

The Board has said in its infinite wisdom that the Code needs to be reviewed. Perhaps it’s the ethical conduct of the Board that needs to be reviewed.
Bonnie February 11, 2014 at 07:27 AM
Why is it that it's assumed that special preferential treatment is being handed out? I'd think the compliment should be filed if someone actually caught the parties accused showing preferential treatment while working. Ms. Krane, I don't know you nor do I personally know the Wyatt family but did you witness special treatment with your own eyes? I work for my father, it is very possible for a parent or child to work for, with or under another without special treatment. I've been doing so for over 40 years, never once has their been a complaint that I've been treated special! I follow the rules and policies just like everyone else! Please just take the back seat, sit back, relax and if you personally witness preferential treatment then file a complaint. I personally see this as a dem party vs rep party complaint and nothing more even tho you stated you filed this as a citizen, you're the ONLY citizen to file a complaint. Correct?
Lisa Lesinsky February 11, 2014 at 08:30 AM
I agree with Bonnie, what is the problem, if he was qualified for the job then so be it. There is no town policy that says he can't. If you feel he doesn't do his job right then complain.
kathy johnson February 11, 2014 at 09:10 AM
Krane is saying that a candidate for a job in town need not apply because he is related by blood to his boss. That sounds like prejudice to me.
JYD February 11, 2014 at 10:04 AM
Sounds like a great dinner conversation topic at the ODTC meeting at Anne's house.
kathy johnson February 12, 2014 at 12:40 PM
There are only 11 members of the ODTC as many former members have resigned. Should be a cozy get together. I understand that an organizer will be addressing the group. His name is Alex. He along with other professional organizers have been sent by the CT. State Democratic Central Committee to the small rural towns that often vote Republican in an effort to get Democrats elected. This was a perfect time for Krane to invite all registered Dems to town hall to hear what he has to say. Hope he enjoys the food.
Bonnie February 12, 2014 at 02:25 PM
@kathy Johnson if that were me I sure wouldn't eat!! I would go to McD's before!! Just a little "food" for thought!! Hahaha!! Just my sense of humor! Hope to get a giggle out of you! I'd love to meet you for coffee some day Kathy! I think we'd have a great time! Lots of chuckles!!! :) :) :)
John Plane February 12, 2014 at 04:44 PM
So tonight they will elect the new D town chairman and officers at this meeting. Can town dems vote in this meeting Kathy? You mentioned in another post they can be elected as officers. Does the town clerk certify the election? There are many questions that need answers. Someone should file an ethics complaint against who ever called this meeting at Oxford Greens.
kathy johnson February 12, 2014 at 07:15 PM
Bonnie I would love to chat over coffee. I think we would click. 203-888-53612 H 203-710-2686 C
Bonnie February 12, 2014 at 07:27 PM
Great Kathy!! We shall chat soon! Perhaps once this snow storm is finished!! We shall have our own dinner party!! :)
kathy johnson February 12, 2014 at 07:27 PM
John Plane ,only the Town committee can vote and nominate officers. As I said any Democrat can lobby the members of the ODTC and if a member makes a motion to nominate and another member seconds the motion and a majority of the members agree the person is elected. It has to be filed with the town clerk and the state central committee. If you are a non member you can not vote. I am not sure it would fly but there are some that suggest that the way Krane filed the complaint against the BOS and Wayne Wyatt could be considered unethical.
kathy johnson February 12, 2014 at 07:31 PM
Sounds great. I retired last year so I have lots of time on my hands.
John Plane February 12, 2014 at 08:53 PM
thanks Kathy, have a great night.
kathy johnson February 13, 2014 at 08:48 AM
John , oops. thanks i will be more careful next time. Have a nice day.

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