There were some uncomfortable moments at a recent NCC Council meeting regarding Paul Clark’s reimbursement for legal fees related to his Danielle Catarelli complaint. The Community News wrote about it on 1/29/10:
The decision to table came after a contentious Finance Committee meeting Tuesday afternoon, during which Councilman Robert Weiner (R-Chatham) spent more than 20 minutes imploring his fellow council members to vote against reimbursement, with a frustrated Clark defending himself along the way.
Weiner came to the meeting armed with a packet of legal memos, code citations, news clippings, and something that caused some consternation among his fellow council members – Clark’s campaign finance report.
Clark paid for his lawyers using campaign funds, it was revealed, though Clark said it was always his intention to replenish his campaign account should he be reimbursed.
But the revelation prompted enough questions among the 13-member council that Clark elected to delay the vote.
The News Journal followed up with their version yesterday:
During a recent New Castle County meeting where the topic of reimbursing Council President Paul Clark’s legal fees came up, claws were drawn when Councilman Robert Weiner presented documents claiming that voting to reimburse would give the appearance that Clark’s legal fees were paid from his campaign account and “not from his personal funds as he strongly inferred to the members of county council.”
“If this were to be granted, there is the appearance that it would be unjustly enriching Council President Clark since there is the appearance that the attorney fees were paid for from the Paul Clark campaign funds,” Weiner said.
It seems that if Mr. Clark’s intentions were to repay his campaign the legal expenses should have been setup as personal loans to his campaign. They were not. Thank you Mr. Weiner for taking a stand.
This is some of the logic behind the #1 reason not to vote for Chris Coons. Word is there should be a bill introduced requiring a special election for County Exec after the budget recess.