Two meetings primarily focused on ethics will be Maricopa City Council business this week.
Tuesday, a special meeting at 6 p.m. is a closed session so the council may speak to the city attorney, Denis Fitzgibbons, and private attorney Aaron Arnson of Pierce Coleman PLLC, regarding an “ethics violation formal complaint” filed April 16. Members will discuss whether there is reasonable cause to find a violation of the council’s Code of Ethics.
The complaint was lodged against Councilwoman Julia Gusse, who is in the middle of a re-election campaign, by Scott Bartle, owner/publisher of InMaricopa. Bartle claimed Gusse was trying to harm his small business, a media company, by causing advertising to be withheld. As part of his complaint, he submitted a series of emails between them written in 2018.
In the regular meeting starting at 7 p.m., council will take up the matter in open session. They will discuss whether Gusse violated the Code of Ethics and may take a vote. The agenda notes no public comment will be heard except for comments and questions directed to the complainant.
If the council finds a violation occurred, they will then discuss possible action.
Also on this week’s agenda are two property purchases by the City and acceptance of newly improved streets. The properties being purchased are the lot on the northwest corner of the former Pershing Street (now Main Street) and Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway for $44,000 and Recycling Association-Maricopa (RAM) at 46250 W. McDavid Road for $126,000.
Improved streets to be accepted are the completed Powers Parkway in The Lakes at Rancho El Dorado and the internal streets of parcels 6 and 7 of Rancho Mirage Estates.
Attendance at the meeting continues to be limited due to COVID-19. Members of the public wishing to address the council may enter chambers one at a time. The meeting may be viewed on the City’s YouTube Channel.