This past week saw Chuck Turner removed from the Boston City Council after being convicted of taking a bribe. This was the first time in the 100 year history of the Boston City Council that someone was removed. Also this past week, the United States House of Representatives censured Rep Charles Rangel of New York on a variety of charges. This was another historic move.
Both of these issues got me to think about integrity. According to the American Heritage Dictionary the word integrity means, adherence to a strict moral code. This is something that seems to be lacking in the US today but most especially amongst our elected officials.
A few months back here in Southbridge, it came to light that one of our elected Town Council Members leaked the minutes from a session of the Council that was held in executive session. The minutes were leaked in their entirety to the local media. In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts this is against the law. An investigation was begun by the local police and as is their policy because it involves an elected official it was turned over to the State Police for further investigation. Nothing has been seen or heard of this investigation since and this was in June if memory serves me.
To me and my way of thinking, this is a violation of the public trust. Elected officials, upon their election, swear an oath that they will uphold the laws of not only the Town but of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. They are also given several documents that outline the rules of the open meeting law and the requirements of the executive session. The bottom line is unless a vote of the body that met in executive session is taken to release or make public the minutes they cannot be released nor can the participants speak about what went on at the meeting.
We the people need to start holding our elected official to the high standard they need to be held too. We need to pay attention and speak up when things like this happens. As long as this has taken to resolve I would not be surprised that there is some kind of cover up going on here.
Someone knows who the person is who leaked and the person who leaked knows it was them that leaked the information so they need to man up and do the right thing and step aside so we can elect people to the Town Council that will live up to their oath they swore when they were elected.
Have some integrity and do the right thing.