Brian Maryott, GOP Rival to Rep. Levin, Fends Off Democratic Claims of Ethics Violations
Joan Harrington, director of social sector ethics at Santa Clara University’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, reviewed the critique and Maryott’s responses.
Harrington said the Wells Fargo matter didn’t rise to the level of impropriety.
“He did what he normally would do as a mayor,” she said, assuming he described the case accurately. “If he reached out to another bank, we would not call this an ethical violation and when he called he didn’t ask … for special attention or using the relationship in a special way.”
Harrington saw irony in the accusation about Maryott’s use of personal email to conduct city business.
The reason governments insist on employees using their official email is so the public can access such records.
But like Ivanka Trump and Hillary Clinton, Maryott often combined official emails with personal accounts, Harrington noted.
“So that’s where I’m not seeing a problem — because … it’s not hidden from us,” she said. The public record is thus “transparent.” She struggled to think how this “damages the public.”
“You need people looking,” Harrington said. “It’s a little too charged right now in America. But it’s not a bad thing to have people inquiring about the ethics and the behavior of political officials.”
Joan Harrington, director of Social Sector Ethics, quoted in the Times of San Diego
Aug 11, 2020
Associated Press/Chris Carlson