Professor FinkbeinerWritten by Autumn Lee | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Carty, you’re confusing us.
In mid-April, Toledo Free Press broke the story that Mayor Carty Finkbeiner led an effort to raise private funds to retain outgoing TPS Superintendent Eugene Sanders.
The day our April 19 story was published, the mayor called and requested that TFP’s editorial board come to One Government Center. Finkbeiner discussed the timeline of his meetings with the Committee of the Whole and several business leaders, explaining the options for Sanders being discussed included a summer teaching position at UT, a car and an insurance annuity funded by private donations. As he told his story, he mentioned at least twice he had consulted with attorneys in Columbus to make sure his efforts were legal. If Finkbeiner violated Ohio Revised Code Section 2921.43, which forbids public officials from raising funds for other public officials, he could be removed from office.
On May 9, the mayor sent a letter to the Ohio Ethics Commission basically admitting his efforts were in conflict with ORC 2921.43. But in his letter, Carty wrote, “We intended that before we made any formal proposal to him, we would seek legal counsel to assure whatever we did was legally proper.”
So, which is it? Did the mayor obtain legal opinion, as he said on April 19, or did he intend to seek legal counsel, but fail to?
A spokesperson for the mayor said when Carty spoke to TFP, he was referring to an “informal” conversation he had with Andy Douglas, a former Ohio justice. So why not mention Douglas in the letter to the commission? Certainly that adds credibility to Finkbeiner’s case. We’re not implying any wrong-doing or dishonesty, just admitting to some confusion.
Carty said he wanted to “educate” us, but his lesson is fuzzy at best. Next session, we’ll have to be better students and ask more questions.
The May 24 editorial “TPS and black students” named the Northwest Ohio Black Media Association as the sponsor of meetings addressing the issue of educating black students. The presentations were co-sponsored by The African American Parents Association, The Urban Coalition and the Toledo Alliance of Black School Educators. Town hall discussions were co-sponsored by NOBMA.