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Frasier ethics hearing postponed

Monday, December 11, 2017 by Jo Clifton

The Ethics Review Commission hearing to determine whether former police monitor Margo Frasier violated city ordinances or policies by using her city time and computer for activity related to her private consulting business has been postponed to March. A notice on the city’s website simply says the meeting, which had been scheduled for Tuesday night, has been canceled. But Nathan Wiebe, head of the investigative unit in the Office of the City Auditor, told the Austin Monitor that Frasier’s attorney, Perry Minton, had requested the postponement because he has not been able to get the evidence he is seeking. The commission subpoenaed the evidence, including the name of the whistleblower who first alerted auditors to the possibility that Frasier had violated city regulations. However, City Auditor Corrie Stokes objects to releasing the whistleblower’s name because it could have a chilling effect on other employees who might want to report wrongdoing. Council was scheduled to take up the matter at last week’s meeting, but the item was postponed to this week. There is not another Council meeting until February, but a March postponement should give it plenty of time to weigh in on the matter. Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo and Council Member Leslie Pool have both said they are concerned about revealing whistleblowers’ names. Although Wiebe responded to the subpoena with the information the commission was seeking, Wiebe said Sunday that he believes the city attorney’s office has not turned the information over to the commission.

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