Commission finds no ethical violations for parks board member

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by SHELTON GREEN / KVUE News and Photojournalist MATT OLSEN

Bio | Email | Follow: @SheltonG_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on December 4, 2013 at 11:11 PM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 4 at 11:20 PM

AUSTIN – Members of the Austin Ethics Review Commission voted unanimously Wednesday night that an Austin Parks board member did not violate sections of the City’s ethics code as she was accused of by a local business owner.

Susana Almanza is a board member and an officer with People Organized in the Defense of Earth and Her Resources (PODER). The group was the subject of a complaint filed over the summer by owners of an East Austin tubing business.

Alisa Walker with Eastside Tubes complained to the Ethics Review Commission that Almanza had a conflict of interest because she did not recuse herself from parks board discussions about Eastside Tubes.
 
At least two members of PODER addressed the board asking them to shut down the tubing business, citing noise complaints. The City of Austin later decided to shut down the tubing business citing safety issues.
 
Almanza’s attorney Bill Aleshire argued that there is no proof that PODER benefited financially from the tubing business shutting down.
 
Almanza told KVUE earlier that the complaint was an effort to railroad her potential run for an Austin City Council seat.

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