Editor, The Friday Flyer:
During a review by an Ad Hoc Committee appointed by the mayor (Dawn Haggerty) and tasked to examine the city’s reimbursement policies and procedures, it was discovered that many of council member Haggerty’s reimbursement requests had been incorrectly submitted, resulting in substantial overpayment to Ms. Haggerty. No other council member had any awareness of these issues when the review began.
Occurring over the course of an entire year from March 2016 to March 2017, the problems ranged from failure to provide receipts to failure to provide the required form or provide it properly. State law demands both accurate completion of reimbursement forms and attached receipts before reimbursement can be made.
Due to the serious and consistent nature of the problems, the Ad Hoc Committee followed procedure and called for a special meeting to bring it to the attention of the full city council. Issues regarding council members may take place only in open session.
During the portion of the meeting when possible consequences were discussed, Ms. Haggerty suddenly offered to resign as mayor while remaining a council member. Her resignation was accepted and the meeting concluded. However, since that night, Ms. Haggerty has chosen to attack her fellow council members, consistently blaming others for her predicament and fabricating conspiracies, seeming to ignore the evidence.
Unfortunately, the evidence speaks for itself and it had to be publicly addressed according to law. As difficult as it was, we as a council did precisely what was required of us. No matter how sympathetic, no other council member was obligated to protect her from her own admitted wrongdoings. But the City Council does have a fiduciary, ethical and moral obligation to protect Canyon Lake and its citizens. Four council members did that on April 26. They did not do it for fun or for political gain; ethics rules require compliance, not forgiveness.