Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Cover-up At Milwaukee City Hall Over Esperanza Unida's Complaint Against Alderman Pérez?

José Pérez, Grant F. Langley and Manuel "Manny" Pérez

The Milwaukee City Attorney's Office and the Ethics Board refused to comply with an open records request to release an e-mail sent to the Board by Esperanza Unida, Inc. alleging an ethics complaint against Alderman José Pérez.

By H. Nelson Goodson
August 13, 2014

Milwaukee, WI - On Wednesday, Melanie Rutledge, the Assistant City Attorney confirmed that she and Grant F. Langley, the Milwaukee City Attorney are refusing to comply with an open records request to release an e-mail sent to the Ethics Board by Manuel "Manny" Pérez, the executive director of Esperanza Unida, Inc. alleging an ethics complaint against Alderman José G. Pérez. Rutledge stated, "I have spoken to Mr. Langley about your concerns as noted below.  This office has reviewed the initial public records request and the response of the Ethics Board.  The response is consistent with the applicable state statute and city ordinance.  The Ethics Board response letter explains the reasons for the denial. We agree that the law and the city ordinance allow non-disclosure under these circumstances."
Pérez confirmed that he sent the complaint against Alderman Pérez via e-mail about three or four months ago. Jessica Celella, the Staff Assistant at the City Clerks Office also had confirmed that the Ethics Board received Pérez complaint and cited that the open records request from Hispanic News Network U.S.A. (HNNUSA) would not be granted and the Esperanza Unida ethics alleged complaint against Ald. Pérez would not be released. HNNUSA has learned that the Ethics Board failed to act on Pérez alleged complaint against Alderman Pérez simply because the initial complaint was not notarized. 
HNNUSA has also noted that the Ethics Board is located in the same office area where Aldermen (Common Council) have their offices, it sure would seem a conflict of interest and in this case a possible cover-up at City Hall?
HNNUSA has attempted numerous times to contact Alderman Pérez for comment on the Esperanza Unida complaint, but as usual Ald. Pérez shys away from comment. Allegations were raised that before Alderman Pérez was elected to office, he attempted numerous times to offer to buy the Esperanza Unida building at 611 W. National Ave. Pérez also attempted to get the Esperanza Board of Directors to force then executive director of Esperanza Unida, Robert Miranda to work with José Pérez who operated his private company. Miranda refused and Pérez was left out from an opportunity to buy the building for investors.
Since Alderman Pérez was elected, it seems that the Esperanza Unida building had more frequent visits by city inspectors than usual, a coincidence, who knows? But, the ethics complaint filed by Manuel Pérez could show some concerns about Ald. Pérez actions as a public elected official. Which, the Common Council President Michael J. Murphy had become aware of Ald. Pérez and Esperanza Unida's issue at hand.
HNNUSA had requested the Esperanza Unida ethics complaint from the Ethics Board, which is refusing to release it under the open records laws. 

No comments: