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Her Honor

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Independent Group Files Ethics Complaint

Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012

A Georgia councilmember who wore his name badge while testifying at another city’s council meeting is facing ethics charges for violating a section of the code of ethics by seeking to “secure special privileges and exemptions for others."

Snellville councilmember Mike Sabbagh is the subject of a complaint by Gwinette Ethics, Inc., an organization that describes itself as “a non-profit corporation composed of local citizens who are dedicated to exposing ethics lapses both in government, and in organizations that clog our county’s judicial system with capricious and baseless lawsuits and complaints.” Both cities are located in Gwinette County.

The group alleges that Sabbagh appeared before the Marietta, Georgia city council in October 2011 on behalf of a friend who had an item pending. Sabbagh urged the council to work with his friend to allow the completion of a controversial building. In January 2012 the Snellville council investigated the ethics of the appearance, and tabled the matter after Sabbagh apologized. “I was simply trying to convince the city of Marietta to allow the owner of the building some extra time, as the economy was hard," Sabbagh told Snellville Patch. "I didn’t go in there as an authority figure, I went in there as a citizen. They knew who I was."

What do you think? Did Sabbagh cross the line by appearing with his name badge? The Snellville city council has already dealt with this issue. What should they do with this complaint?

Post your comments here.

 
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