(Sidebar)Further, Mr. Antoon claims that Assistant City Attorney Mark Shoesmith has inappropriately assumed the role of prosecutor on behalf of the complainant as opposed to legal advisor to the ethics board. Of course this assertion is based on information obtained by Councilor Harris or by Mr. Antoon from "one well-placed official," and "those close to the process but afraid to go on the record."
We're told that Councilor Harris had a less than favorable reaction to the recent mailer sent out by New Mexican's for Democracy, the group spearheading his removal. It was presented as an exhibit in the councilor's request for rescheduling and included in the above attachment. According to our Eyes the councilor was "incoherent and full of rage." It probably dawned on him (finally) that having the Ethics Hearing one week before the election wasn't such a good idea. Sort of like making sure your name was on the second page of the ballot all by itself instead of on the first page buried in the middle of a number of bond issues.
The mainstream media and bloggers regularly use unnamed sources... we do it all the time. However, information allegedly obtained from "well-placed" officials and fearful sources "close to the process," are hardly valid in a legal or quasi-legal proceeding. Without direct attribution subject to testimony and/or a deposition, they can't be considered anything but hearsay and innuendo (if that).
Antoon also claims that there are substantial errors in the audit report and alleges that the City Attorney not the City Auditor actually wrote the report. The funny part of that assertion is that the respondent (Harris) hasn't had enough time to analyze the audit report, but somehow knows that it contains errors. Shouldn't those errors be discussed at length during the Hearing? Isn't that what the hearing is for?
Harris is clearly following in the footsteps of previous politicians who've managed to get caught with their hand in the cookie jar or cigar... uh, never mind. Deny and delay, delay and deny until you wear down your opponent or the voters get bored with the story.
Harris has already attempted to legally derail the process by trying to get a court to decide that the City Charter required a higher number of petition signatures than specifically indicated. His current gambit is designed to keep voters from seeing him "on trial" as it were, for violating the city's ethics regulations and campaign contribution limits. It's just another play for time designed to put the issues in question beyond his October 2nd judgment day and deny his constituents the ability to evaluate the allegations for themselves.