The public square is the cornerstone of democracy. The concept is that anyone can hop on a metaphorical soapbox and air their grievances about the government.
But what does it take to be banned from the public square in San Antonio?
It’s happening to two local residents who are being shunned by their elected representatives. John Foddrill and Michael Cuellar are two separate cases but with some suspicious common factors. Both men are former city employees who say that while on the job they found evidence of fraud or waste in city government.
Texas Matters: It's finally here! The 83rd Texas Legislature will be sworn in and start on Tuesday, Jan. 8. Political Action Committees, or Super PACs as they came to be so heroically known in last year's election, enjoyed fairly easy regulations on both organization and donations. However, there are rules and stiff penalties if you break them; one Texas billionaire was caught and fined a shocking $6,450!
Deputy City Manager Pat DiGiovanni sits before the Ethics Review Board Oct. 9 to explain his beliefs that he did not violate the city's ethics code
Credit Ryan Loyd / Texas Public Radio
The city's Ethics Review Board took up the case of Deputy City Manager Pat DiGiovanni Tuesday night. DiGiovanni opened the case himself for an opinion to find out if he violated the city's ethics code.
In a unanimous ruling Tuesday night, the Ethics Review Board found that Deputy City Manager Pat DiGiovanni violated the city's ethics code when he failed to recuse himself from a conflict of interest involving a city contract and his future employer.
Earlier this year, DiGiovanni took on oversight of the selection process for contractors in a $300 million bid to expand and renovate the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.
The city's ethics review board will look at the case, which stems from DiGiovanni's new employment with the non-profit Centro Partnership, whose goal is to revitalize the downtown San Antonio area, and his role at the city.