OIG: Councilmember Jones violated city ordinances

The Office of Inspector General released the results Wednesday of an investigation into Houston Councilmember Jolanda Jones.

June 9, 2011 3:10:03 AM PDT
Results came out Wednesday night of an investigation into city Councilmember Jolanda Jones after there were questions over a flyer released from her office. The Office of Inspector General released the findings and says Jones violated several city ordinances, including misuse of city resources.

The findings are the results of a multi-month investigation. The Office of Inspector General say the councilmember used her city resources and staff to do some of her private business.

This all began when Jones' staff distributed a flyer at a community meeting. It was titled "Know Your Rights with the Police," and among other things, listed her city council phone number. The Houston Police Officers Union filed an ethics complaint, and now, the findings are public.

There are two sets of violations. The first are the city's code of ordinances. They include, using a city-issued telephone number, improper use of city resources and improper use of city employees...all Class C misdemeanors.

In addition, the OIG found Jones interfered with an investigation, was untruthful during the investigation and failed to cooperate. City Attorney David Feldman says he's trying to decide whether to file charges against the councilmember.

"I have to determine whether the appropriate to do that under this set of circumstances and I simply have not had the time or opportunity to make any determination," he said.

The police union released a statement Wednesday, which said in part: "There is no doubt that CM Jolanda Jones' actions and conduct are both unprofessional and reprehensible as it relates to her position as a member of the Houston City Council."

Councilmember Jones released the following statement to the OIG's report: "I have just received this report and will comment further once I have reviewed it. I hold myself and my staff to the highest ethical standards. I look forward to clearing up any misunderstandings with respect to this report as expeditiously as the process permits."

Houston City Council has the option to reprimand or censure her, or they could even impeach if they choose.

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