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Sweet Deal On Hotel Suites Triggers Ethics Review Board Action

Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012

The San Antonio Ethics Review Board has ruled that taking free or discounted tickets to a hotel is a violation that should be investigated by law enforcement.

According to board chair Arthur Downey, current and former city employees accepted rooms at the Grand Hyatt Hotel – rooms known as the Alamodome suites, that are valued at $900. While the individuals were disciplined in July, there were no criminal charges filed. The district attorney has confirmed an investigation is under way.

The Ethics Review Board took action in response to a citizen’s complaint—not about the hotel rooms per se, but because the city didn’t take any action when the information was made public.

Michael Cuellar, the complainant, was also concerned that city manager Sheryl Sculley didn’t follow an administrative directive that requires an independent audit or outside investigation in cases such as this.

The city’s Office of Municipal Integrity initially investigated the case, and the publicity surrounding the results prompted the district attorney’s office to begin a preliminary inquiry before the Ethics Review Board met.

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