Is Elk Grove's Pat Hume Breaking Campaign Laws?

Elk Grove Economic Development Corporation Chair Endorses Hume Is the EGEDC Chair's endorsement ethical? Several months ago in the h...

Elk Grove Economic Development Corporation Chair Endorses Hume

Is the EGEDC Chair's endorsement ethical?
Several months ago in the heated debate surrounding the location of the St. Marie Goretti Roman Catholic Church, Council Member Steve Detrick made an off-cuff comment that the Sacramento Diocese should look at other sites within the Elk Grove community. One of those sites, Detrick suggested, was a vacant lot across the street from his home that at one point was being considered for a Super Wal-Mart.

Critics of Detrick seized on the comment and urged an ethics  violation investigation saying the first term council member was trying to make an economic gain by urging the sale of the vacant parcel. Mayor Sophia Scherman agreed and single-handedly approved an independent investigation in the matter.  

Unfortunately for Detrick, not to mention the struggling taxpayers of Elk Grove, that comment undoubtedly caused him lots of indigestion, taxpayers thousands of dollars and yet another embarrassment for the city. 

Scherman's rouge ethics investigation turned out to be nothing but a red herring and did nothing but damage the already sagging reputation of city council and Elk Grove as a whole. To paraphrase one council members' comments at the time, the whole incident may work to keep businesses from locating in the city. 
Since Scherman's strange saga, ethics violation accusations amongst council members have been tossed around like a hot potato. 

Nevertheless, failure of the smell test seems to be permeating from the city council again. The latest incident comes from council member Pat Hume and his ballot statement.

Endorsement from city funded board member; Does it pass the smell and Four Way Test?

review of Hume's recently filed candidate statement includes an endorsement from Mr. Tim Moran. The endorsement, which is scheduled to appear on the November ballot statement, includes the following comment:

"Pat Hume has led efforts to create jobs, and grow the 
local economy.  We need his leadership of the city council."

While the statement is hardly controversial, it is the preface that fails the smell test. Moran, who is President of Methodist Hospital of Sacramento, prefaced the quote as follows:

Tim Moran, Chairman of the Elk Grove 
Economic Development Corporation says, 

According to their website, the EGEDC is a "501 c (6) non-profit corporation whose purpose is to improve and develop business and economic conditions within Elk Grove." The EGEDC received a five year $750,000 grant from the City of Elk Grove in February, 2007 to help the city pursue economic growth.

(Coincidentally, court documents in an unrelated legal matter for Hume states his current "significant other" is Lisa Lent. Currently Lent is the Chief Philanthropy Officer for Methodist Hospital, where Moran is President.

While the legality of Moran's endorsement as the chair of the publicly funded agency warrants further research, by any measure of ethical standards, Moran and Hume are at a minimum violating ethical standards and fair play by using his publicly funded position for Hume's advantage. 

It just doesn't pass the smell test.

One can only hope that Moran is a stand-up sort of person who acknowledges his mistake and withdraws his endorsement, or at least deletes his title of Chairman of the EGEDC, before the ballot statements go to print. As for Hume, we hope he can honestly apply his publicly acknowledged adherence to the Rotary's Four Way Test and do the fair thing for all parties concerned.

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