Lawyer In Ethics Board Hearing Asks For Recusal Of Board Member

An Ethics Board hearing scheduled for Friday, February 5 took an interesting turn Thursday, when the lawyer representing Councilman Ben Giles requested a recusal of an Ethics Board member.

Daniel P. Bach, from the law firm of Lawton and Cates, is asking Fond du Lac City Attorney Deborah Hoffman to have Ethics Board Chairman Paul Czisny recused from the hearing due to a potential conflict of interest. In the letter, Bach tells Hoffman that Czisny “signed nomination papers on behalf of Patrick Mullen, who is running for election of City Council. Mr. Mullen is among the leaders of a group opposed plans proposed by Lakeside Forward for the development of Lakeside Park.”

Bach goes on to tell Hoffman that he ordinarily would agree that “signing nomination papers does not necessarily imply support for a candidate. However, in this instance it appears that the future of the park is the driving force behind Mr. Mullen’s candidacy, as well as a very contentious issue throughout the city.” Bach concludes the letter by saying “Mr. Giles and the public must be assured that the upcoming proceedings are fair and free from the even the appearance of subjectivity.”

Giles is scheduled to face a public hearing regarding allegations he violated three sections of the City of Fond du Lac’s ethics codes. In November, the Ethics Board found probable cause that Giles violated codes of ethics related to Dedicated Service, Fair and Equal Treatment and Conflict of Interest. The hearing is set for Friday, February 5 at 8:30 a.m., and will be open to the public. The board is expected to make a decision by the end of the following week