By not acting on the conflict of interest,
the rest of City Council is at fault for not policing their own
"...Former attorney Lewis Pitts says ...that Outling, an attorney with Brooks Pierce, should have recused himself because of a conflict of interest with his firm.
Outling was one of five council members who voted July 18 to hold off awarding a contract for city insurance, which is now held by UnitedHealthcare.
City Manager Jim Westmoreland and a paid consultant recommended the city use Cigna Health Insurance, which the consultant said would save up to $650,000 a year. The council’s vote delayed the decision.
The City Manager works at the pleasure of City Council,
along with the City Attorney,
so both the Manager and the Attorney work for City Council,
which conflicts with the best interests of the taxpaying electorate
Two employees from Brooks Pierce’s Raleigh office work as lobbyists for UnitedHealthcare.
Therefore, Mr Outling shouldn't have voted on the item,
and the rest of City Council shouldn't have let him,
which they didn't act on, making the rest complicit,
as it's up to the rest of Council to decide what is or isn't a conflict of interest,
not the City Attorney, who really represents City Council,
just as the Police Department Attorney represents the Police Department etc...
“Outling felt pressure to vote favorably for the firm client. Duh,” Pitts wrote. “This is so elementary obvious to any objective person that it seems preposterous to be writing out an argument.
“He should be sanctioned.”
And should resign now that he defended an unethical act
The city’s ethics policy requires council members to abstain from voting on matters in which they have a direct or indirect financial interest in the outcome.
City Attorney Tom Carruthers, after consulting with experts around the state, said late Tuesday the vote was proper.
Mr. Carruthers opinion shouldn't be taken into account,
as City Council can fire him at will, which means he works for them,
not the rest of us
Where are the legal opinions?
Why hasn't the City produced the legal opinions?
...UnitedHealthcare, based in Greensboro, has provided insurance to roughly 3,500 city employees for 20 years. Last year, Westmoreland overruled the recommendation of city staffers and a consultant to pick Cigna Health Insurance because of his concerns about the economic impact.
Westmoreland is a Yes man for City Council and their donors,
always has been
At the time, Outling warned that the city was inviting a lawsuit, since laws governing the competitive bidding process don’t allow the city to use local preference in awarding contracts.
Outling contradicted himself, and should be held to account,
which probably won't happen, as our press is too stupid or too compromised
to go up against the powers that be who want to keep Outling voting for their handouts
This year, Outling voted to reject the bidding process — something different, he said, than voting to give the contract to UnitedHealthcare.
...Pitts, in his complaint, says the facts are clear: Outling’s vote favorably benefited a client of Brooks Pierce.
“Think about it: If Outling voted against UnitedHealthcare, as the cogent evidence seemed to mandate, do you think the client ... would have contacted Brooks Pierce and their lobbyists to complain and threaten to take their legal business elsewhere?
“Of course they would have.”
Greensboro City Council succumbs to extortion by UnitedHealthcare #NCGA #NCPOL #NCDEM #GSO #GSOPOL #SOGSO
Goldie Wells signs on to be just like Justin Outling and Tony Wilkins; Appointed before an election
Mayor and Council:
...What must be considered is if a conflict of interest exists
either under N.C.G.S. §§160A-75 or 14-234, or the City of Greensboro’s Charter,
or the City’s Conflict of Interest Policy.
...Direct or indirect benefits are considered under the City’s conflict of interest policy
and typically involve financial interests for the Councilmember,
his or her immediate family, their partner,
or an organization which employs or is about to employ the member,
family member or partner...
S. Mujeeb Shah-Khan
OFFICE OF THE CITY ATTORNEY
Roch Smith Jr. on Justin Outling's Bullshit
Justin Outling put his own interests
in front of the best interests of City of Greensboro taxpayers
"Council Admits To Raising City Taxes", and John Hammer's big lie
Friday Night Greensboro News Dump of 'private/public' Incompetence; "Tanger Center needs new contractor for 'Phase 1'"
The Mayor or any member of the City Council who has a financial interest,
direct or indirect,
in any official act or action before the Council shall,
…disclose such interest and all material facts
with respect there to the City Manager and City Attorney.
In addition, he/she shall publicly disclose on the record of the Council
the nature and extent of such interest,
including the full disclosure of all such material facts,
and shall withdraw from any consideration of the matter
pursuant to sec. 4.131 of the City Charter.
Ethical Responsibilities of the Governing Body of the City of Greensboro
Passed on February 19, 1993
Fake fiscal conservative Tony Wilkins and Justin Outling vote for City of Greensboro Tax Increase
Greensboro's Charter says City Council Members
must be honest, impartial, fair and responsible,
and Justin wasn't
Justin Outling: $500 from Marty Kotis, who he voted to give taxpayer monies to
Greensboro’s Ethics Code says
that if there is an actual or possible financial interest,
a Council Member is supposed to publicly disclose on the record of council,
and the remaining Council members
are supposed to decide if a conflict of interest exists,
which didn't happen with Justin Outling and the City healthcare vote
Outling defend the secrecy of the closed meeting as necessary to protect “attorney-client” privilege.
He should have been advocating for the closed session to end while it was underway instead of trying to keep its details secret after the fact.
What Justin Outling didn't/don't/won't watch out for, for the City employees' retirement plan
No member shall be excused from voting
except upon matters involving the consideration
of the member's own financial interest or official conduct
or on matters on which the member is prohibited from voting...
§ 160A‑75. Voting.
Greensboro City Councilman Justing Outling proposes legalized theft of local commercial properties for Nancy Hoffmann
Greensboro City Councilman Justing Outling voted for regressive taxes for Greensboro's poor
Premeditated fraud on the City's taxpayers by Justin Outling and City Council
Councilman Justin Outling: Your Resignation Please
"NC § 138A-36;
...no public servant...authorized to perform an official action requiring the exercise of discretion, shall participate in an official action by the employing entity if the public servant ...may incur a reasonably foreseeable financial benefit ...which financial benefit would impair the public servant's independence of judgment or from which it could reasonably be inferred that the financial benefit would influence the public servant's participation in the official action.
Outling didn't withdraw "from any consideration of the matter"
A public servant described in subsection (a) of this section shall abstain from taking any verbal or written action in furtherance of the official action. The public servant shall submit in writing to the employing entity the reasons for the abstention. When the employing entity is a board, the abstention shall be recorded in the employing entity's minutes.
Commenting on and deliberation of the contract
after not-publicly announcing his firm's ties to United Health
is a violation of the City charter,
Justin's oath of office and the City's Conflict of Interest Policy
(c) A public servant shall take appropriate steps, under the particular circumstances and considering the type of proceeding involved, to remove himself or herself to the extent necessary, to protect the public interest and comply with this Chapter, from any proceeding in which the public servant's impartiality might reasonably be questioned due to the public servant's familial, personal, or financial relationship with a participant in the proceeding. A participant includes (i) an owner, shareholder, partner, member or manager of a limited liability company, employee, agent, officer, or director of a business, organization, or group involved in the proceeding, or (ii) an organization or group that has petitioned for rule making or has some specific, unique, and substantial interest in the proceeding. "
Mr. Outling should resign
and the rest of City Council should force him to do so
"Conflict of interest:
Any officer, department head or employee who has financial interest, direct or indirect, in any proposed contract with the city ...or to a contractor supplying the city, shall make known that interest and shall refrain from voting upon or otherwise participating in the making of such contract or sale.
Any officer, department head, or employee who willfully conceals such a financial interest or willfully violates the requirements of this Section shall be guilty of malfeasance in office or position and shall forfeit his office or position.
Outling did not disclose the conflict, and should forfeit his position
Violation of this Section with the knowledge expressed or implied of the person or corporation contracting with or making a sale to the city shall render the contract void."
The vote should be voided
"In a 6-2 vote — Councilman Justin Outling abstained — the City Council agreed to provide a $150,000 Urban Development Investment Grant to developer [and downtown insider, City Council contributor, and DGI board member appointed by Nancy Vaughan], Andy Zimmerman...
Why did Outling obstain?
North Carolina Bar association Client-Lawyer Relationship Rule 1.7 Conflict of Interest: Current Clients
...no public servant...authorized to perform an official action
requiring the exercise of discretion,
shall participate in an official action by the employing entity
if the public servant ...may incur a reasonably foreseeable financial benefit
...which financial benefit would impair the public servant's
independence of judgment or from which it could reasonably be inferred
that the financial benefit would influence
the public servant's participation in the official action.
North Carolina Bar association Client-Lawyer Relationship Rule 1.7 Conflict of Interest: Current Clients
"Rule 1.7 Conflict of Interest: Current Clients
(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), a lawyer shall not represent a client if the representation involves a concurrent conflict of interest. A concurrent conflict of interest exists if:
(1) the representation of one client will be directly adverse to another client; or
(2) the representation of one or more clients may be materially limited by the lawyer's responsibilities to another client, a former client, or a third person, or by a personal interest of the lawyer.
(b) Notwithstanding the existence of a concurrent conflict of interest under paragraph (a), a lawyer may represent a client if:
(1) the lawyer reasonably believes that the lawyer will be able to provide competent and diligent representation to each affected client;
Outling should have ended all public comment
and any Council deliberations and votes
on his finding his firm represented United Health
(2) the representation is not prohibited by law;
(3) the representation does not involve the assertion of a claim by one client against another client represented by the lawyer in the same litigation or other proceeding before a tribunal; and
(4) each affected client gives informed consent, confirmed in writing."
"Any officer, department head or employee
who has financial interest, direct or indirect,
in any proposed contract with the city
...or to a contractor supplying the city,
shall make known that interest
and shall refrain from voting upon
or otherwise participating in the making of such contract or sale.
Any officer, department head, or employee
who willfully conceals such a financial interest
or willfully violates the requirements of this Section
shall be guilty of malfeasance in office or position
and shall forfeit his office or position.
Justin Outling should resign
Violation of this Section
with the knowledge expressed or implied
of the person or corporation contracting with or making a sale to the city
shall render the contract void."
Sec. 4.131. - Conflict of interest: Greensboro Code of Ordinances, City Charter
"Resolution of a conflict of interest problem under this Rule requires the lawyer to: 1) clearly identify the client or clients; 2) determine whether a conflict of interest exists; 3) decide whether the representation may be undertaken despite the existence of a conflict, i.e., whether the conflict is consentable; and 4) if so, consult with the clients affected under paragraph (a) and obtain their informed consent, confirmed in writing. The clients affected under paragraph (a) include both of the clients referred to in paragraph (a)(1) and the one or more clients whose representation might be materially limited under paragraph (a)(2).
 A conflict of interest may exist before representation is undertaken, in which event the representation must be declined, unless the lawyer obtains the informed consent of each client under the conditions of paragraph (b). To determine whether a conflict of interest exists, a lawyer should adopt reasonable procedures, appropriate for the size and type of firm and practice, to determine in both litigation and non-litigation matters the persons and issues involved. See also Comment to Rule 5.1. Ignorance caused by a failure to institute such procedures will not excuse a lawyer's violation of this Rule. As to whether a client-lawyer relationship exists or, having once been established, is continuing, see Comment to Rule 1.3 and Scope.
 If a conflict arises after representation has been undertaken, the lawyer ordinarily must withdraw from the representation, unless the lawyer has obtained the informed consent of the client under the conditions of paragraph (b). See Rule 1.16. Where more than one client is involved, whether the lawyer may continue to represent any of the clients is determined both by the lawyer's ability to comply with duties owed to the former client and by the lawyer's ability to represent adequately the remaining client or clients, given the lawyer's duties to the former client. See Rule 1.9. See also Comments  and  to this Rule.
 Even where there is no direct adverseness, a conflict of interest exists if a lawyer's ability to consider, recommend or carry out an appropriate course of action for the client may be materially limited as a result of the lawyer's other responsibilities or interests. For example, a lawyer asked to represent a seller of commercial real estate, a real estate developer and a commercial lender is likely to be materially limited in the lawyer's ability to recommend or advocate all possible positions that each might take because of the lawyer's duty of loyalty to the others. The conflict in effect forecloses alternatives that would otherwise be available to the client. The mere possibility of subsequent harm does not itself preclude the representation or require disclosure and consent. The critical questions are the likelihood that a difference in interests will eventuate and, if it does, whether it will materially interfere with the lawyer's independent professional judgment in considering alternatives or foreclose courses of action that reasonably should be pursued on behalf of the client.
Greensboro’s Ethics Code says that if there is an actual or possible financial interest, a Council Member is supposed to publicly disclose on the record of council, and the remaining Council members are supposed to decide if a conflict of interest exists.
The Policy says City Council Members be honest, impartial, fair and responsible.
Shah-Khan had ruled that former Mayor Robbie Perkins could not vote on a pass through subsidy for Roy Carroll from Guilford County because Perkins owned property (of which he apparently was not paying the mortgage payment) in Carroll’s Centre Pointe building.
If Greensboro’s Ethics Code says that if there is an actual or possible financial interest, City Council members are supposed to publicly disclose on the record of council, and the remaining Council members are supposed to decide if a conflict of interest exists, how can be up to the city attorney to decide who has an interest or conflict?
He can't, but the News and Record takes his word for the law,
even though he represents City Council, not the electorate or taxpayers
They should, unless the public is too stupid or apathetic to intervene
in what is clearly crony capitalism by a sold out City Council member
What does "indirect" financial interest mean?
Where are the disclosures on the "nature and extent of such interests"?
Is Greensboro's City Council, not the city manager or city attorney, responsible for deciding whether or not a city council member has a excusable conflict?
Yes, and they didn't do anything, as they are one big pile of crony stooges
Is Greensboro's City Council the only entity that can excuse or allow a vote when there may or may not be a conflict of interest?
Yes, and the rest failed to act
"...favoritism is just what it sounds like;
it's favoring a person not because he or she is doing the best job
but rather because of some extraneous feature-membership in a favored group...
Favoritism can be demonstrated in hiring, honoring, or awarding contracts.
A related idea is patronage, giving public service jobs
to those who may have helped elect the person who has the power of appointment.
...Cronyism is a more specific form of favoritism,
referring to partiality towards friends and associates.
...Cronyism occurs within a network of insiders-the "good ol' boys,"
who confer favors on one another.
...In the public sphere, favoritism, cronyism, and nepotism
also undermine the common good.
...the appearance of favoritism weakens morale in government service,
not to mention public faith in the integrity of government."
Judy Nadler and Miriam Schulman
"Crony capitalism is a pejorative term describing an allegedly capitalist economy
in which success in business depends on close relationships
between businesspeople and government officials.
It may be exhibited by favoritism in the distribution of legal permits,
government grants, special tax breaks, and so forth.
Crony capitalism is believed to arise when political cronyism spills over into the business world;
self-serving friendships and family ties between businessmen and the government
influence the economy and society
to the extent that it corrupts public-serving economic and political ideals.
In its lightest form, crony capitalism consists of collusion among market players.
While perhaps lightly competing against each other,
they will present a unified front to the government in requesting subsidies or aid.
…it is not uncommon for current industry players to gain control of the “watchdog”
and use it against competitors.
This phenomenon is known as regulatory capture.
A famous early example in the United States would be the Interstate Commerce Commission,
which was established in 1887 to regulate the railroad “robber barons;”
instead, it quickly became controlled by the railroads,
which set up a permit system that was used to deny access to new entrants."