Just because the executive director of the city water authority was disovered to have ties to a firm getting agency business -- and then the director abruptly resigned -- it's nothing to get all worked up about. The government body's board had promised a legal report on the agency's relationship with the firm (which provided water line insurance to customers) but, after realizing it was nothing taxpayers had to worry about, changed it instead to a report on ethics generally.
Without taking a public vote, the board told a law firm working on the investigation to shift its focus from Mr. Kenney to ways in which the authority could strengthen its ethics policies for the future, board members said today
"I think the main thing is to learn from what might have happened" with Mr. Kenney's situation, Scott Kunka, an authority board member and the city finance director, said.
Dan Deasy, the board chairman and a state lawmaker, also said the authority decided not to "dwell on the past" but develop an ethics policy designed to help the authority move forward.
The report by the law firm Farrell and Reisinger was released after an authority board meeting today. It recommends that the authority institute ethics training for all employees, develop an ethics manual, refine the procedure for issuing requests for proposals and make officials' statements of financial interest more readily accessible.
In all, the report is eight pages.
The law firm began its work last summer amid questions about Mr. Kenney's ties to Utility Line Security, a company that provides line warranties to PWSA customers. Customers must opt-out if they don't want the service.
At the time the board hired the firm, Mr. Deasy said the inquiry into Mr. Kenney was necessary to safeguard PWSA's integrity. When Mr. Kenney resigned in December, it was at a time that the report was expected to criticize the connection.
Video from the meeting below: