|Bicycle Bob Welsh|
Settlement reached with South Miami CommissionerNo shit? City of South Miami commissioner Robert Welsh got in trouble for simply speaking to two bidders that had pending bids on a city project? YIKES! Is this an example of a commissioner who really did something wrong or simply a matter of a South Florida politician that isn't plugged into "the machine" that routinely gives its members a free pass when brought before the ethics commission or the state attorneys office? In my humble oppinion, I'd suggest the latter. From what I know about Robert "Bicycle Bob" Welsh, he seems to be one of the only politicians in South Florida that genuinely has his constituents needs, wants and desires at the forefront of his agenda. I honestly believe that this finding by the ethics commission is a travesty that's stained an otherwise untarnished record by Mr. Welsh.
The Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust (COE) has reached a settlement after probable cause was found last month that South Miami City Commissioner Robert Welsh violated the County Ethics Code. The complaint (C 12-25) alleged that the commissioner, who was elected in February, spoke with two bidders in April about a pending city contract while the proposals were still under consideration, which is prohibited by procurement rules. As part of the settlement agreed to today, Commissioner Welsh will pay $250 in investigative costs and accept a Letter of Instruction.
Regardless, considering this finding against Commissioner Welsh for violating the county ethics code, how do you think they're going to rule against South Miami's police chief for sending city business to his wife's tag agency? Considering that there is a clearly defined punishement for such behavior in the city's own ethics code, I have to wonder. In case you've forgotten, take a look at the consequences of the Chief's behavior...
(c)Prohibition on transacting business with the city. No person included in the terms defined in paragraphs (b)(1) through (6) and in paragraph (b)(9) shall enter into any contract or transact any business in which that person or a member of the immediate family has a financial interest, direct or indirect with the city or any person or agency acting for the city, and any such contract, agreement or business engagement entered in violation of this subsection shall render the transaction voidable. Willful violation of this subsection shall constitute malfeasance in office and shall effect forfeiture of office or position.
Now, does anyone really think the chief is going to lose his job over this ethical lapse? You'd be foolish to think so. Like I mentioned before, it all comes down to whether or not you're part of the "the machine" and I can certainly guarantee you that the chief is part of that "machine". I honestly doubt the ethics commission is going to find anything wrong with the chief's behavior but then again perhaps the publicity we've brought to the investigation and the process involved with reaching a ruling, maybe we'll be surprised.