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Hosterman cleared of all charges?

Original post made by Steve Lynn on Feb 19, 2007

Although Mayor Hosterman admits to using city resources for her recent campaign (and apologized for it), she is cleared of all charges that she used city resources for her recent campaign. Is there a law, or isn't there?

At the very least, the City Attorney should have requested that she pay the city back for internet time at the retail rate (~$40 per month). Now there's a lingering sense that Hosterman wasn't even given a slap on the wrist because of her city connections.

Comments (10)

Posted by Marie, a resident of Heritage Valley
on Feb 21, 2007 at 1:40 pm

Actually, what Mayor Hosterman admitted to was inadvertent use of city e-mail. Yes, there is a law and the district attorney's office is the one who evaluates these complaints. Are you saying that the DA's office is corrupt? I think you overestimate Mayor Hosterman's power if you think she now has control over the DA's office. Of course, those who lodged the complaints were her political opponents. From the DA's letter to the city, "Based on all the information provided, there appears to be neither monetary loss to the City nor any monetary gain to Mayor Hosterman. Consequently, there is insufficient evidence to find a violation of section 8314 and we are declining to initiate any legal action against the Mayor." I think we should get on with the business of Pleasanton with those representatives who won election in November. Her opponent had e-mail issues of his own. The people had a choice and they chose to re-elect Mayor Hosterman.


Posted by Carl, a resident of Country Fair
on Feb 21, 2007 at 6:55 pm

Marie - Steve Brozosky did not have 'e-mail issues.' The city will be happy to explain to you how their e-mail server works and how their use/configuration of the server did not allow for an appropriate response to a request for public records. The City Council Work Plan for 2007-2008 includes a project called 'Email Retention Policy' and you'll see that the issue is not with the end user, but with the City. Regardless of how the Mayor's alleged 8314 violation is resolved, in the long run, increased transparency of government and elected official accountability is something we all should strive for.


Posted by Dan, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 24, 2007 at 9:59 am

"The time is always right to do what is right." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

The simple question is: Is what the Mayor did last year right or wrong?

She used taxpayer funded city equipment and resources at least 37 times over three months to leverage her constituents and get herself re-elected by 95 swing votes. If she was a city employee at the time and did that, she would have been TERMINATED for violating Pleasanton City Policy. As an elected official, she has taken advantage of loopholes in state law and "gotten away with it" so far. Is that right or wrong? Many of us think it is wrong and needs to be addressed by the City Council so it will not happen again in Pleasanton.

Luckily, a Fremont-based public advocacy group – Citizens for Ethical Leadership in Government - with a history of pursuing and winning Brown Act violation cases – has indicated they will take this case to the State Attorney General and State Legislature.

By the way, maybe it is just a lawyer thing, but how can anyone combine "inadvertent" and "37 times" while "apologizing" and be credible?


Posted by Tanya Schwenk, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 25, 2007 at 3:32 pm

Tanya Schwenk is a registered user.

Should we be more concerned about use of public time for election related emails or the fact that Hosterman was re-elected?? I'm wondering if the people behind some of these postings were supporters of or somewhow related to those who did not win the mayoral election... I just cant help but wonder. Please tell me if I'm wrong here. Government corruption in any capacity is wrong and illegal, but it goes on all the time. Using one's position of power or political ties to get out of any wrongdoing should not be without cosequence, but proving it is another thing entirely. Did you hear about the Pleasanton police officer who allegedly was fired for not falsifying a police report a couple of years ago? We now have a new Chief of police :)


Posted by Al Cohen, a resident of Del Prado
on Feb 27, 2007 at 11:14 am

As someone who was up in the air about the Mayoral candidates, I threw my support behind Hosterman solely based upon the tactics that were displayed by the Brozosky team. I know of many folks who similarly were moved. One wonders if this tactic actually lost the elections for Brozosky? I am savy enough to understand the calculated risks people take when they tactically at the 12th hour throw something out such as this. However, many Pleasantonians feel that in our own little corner of paradise, we can at least be civil. Especially when further FOI data came out, Brozosky (a software engineer) did not have any trail of his own personal emails. Maybe there is a lesson here for future local elections.


Posted by Jeff, a resident of Valley View Elementary School
on Feb 27, 2007 at 2:19 pm

I suppose Mr. Brozosky was as technically savvy regarding his email as Mayor Hosterman was not.

Despite the fact that Mayor Hosterman had been warned about it repeatedly, I personally believe that insinuating either candidate was purposely engaging in misconduct would be incorrect. The DA investigated the case and found insufficient evidence. Hosterman won the election. Let's move forward.

Jeff
(Voted for Brozosky)


Posted by James, a resident of Country Fair
on Feb 27, 2007 at 9:53 pm

The letter from the DA (available from the City Clerk) does not say that Hosterman is not-guilty. It states that they will not prosecute. The first part of the letter says "the question of whether or not a court would find that these emails constituted an "indicental or minimal" use of public resources, is not a question we can confidently answer." The DA followus up with "The definition of the word "use" found in the body of the section clearly mandates that there must be a loss of gain in which a monetary value can be assigned. Based on all the information provided, there appears that neigher monetary loss to the City nor any monetary gain to Mayor Hosterman." The final paragraph of the letter is the most telling. It states, "It is not within the purview of the District Attorney's Office to comment on whether the "spirit" of the section was violated."

The DA essentially said that the way the law is written it would be difficult to prosecute; however, what she did was probably wrong and/or unethical.

With the way this law is written, an elected official can use the city email system all they want for campaigning and fundraising and as long as the money raised using the city email system went to a campaign and not to the candidate directly, the DA will not file charges. I guess this is what happens when the legislature writes laws that effect them directly; it is full of loopholes. It is the fox watching the hen house.


Posted by Nancy, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 2, 2007 at 2:47 pm

Dan,

I am confused. 95 votes? The Mayor won re-election by 188 votes. And, the group Citizens for Ethical Leadership in Government who you list as a public advocacy group is actually a political action committee. Hmmm.... Time to move on. Try to grow up and accept our representative democracy at work...the people had a chance to vote on the ethics violations you mentioned and the Mayor won re-election! I guess people see your attempts for what they are, sour grapes! Let's allow the mayor and city council to do the work they were elected to do!


Posted by Susan, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 5, 2007 at 9:03 pm

I am amazed that we are still talking about this. We have many wonderful things here in Pleasanton, a concerned citizenry, a solvent city, beautiful parks, great schools, a terrific downtown, the list goes on. We can choose to be consumed with the past or we can get on with the business of the city. It is time to stop being negative and work on the issues surrounding us. Let's start acting like adults. The issue important to most residents is not email. Enough! We have work to do!


Posted by Sara G., a resident of Birdland
on Apr 6, 2007 at 10:38 pm

.... and it just so happened that Brozoski had Zero records of e-mail transactions on his city account?

of course he had transactions, (thousands of them) it just that mysteriously, when people went snooping into Hosterman's account, and started making a ruckus, only then was it discovered that our software engineer's fingerprints had been cleared from EVERYONE of his e-mails.

Nixon resigned over the gaps in the tape recording, luckily, Brozoski won't have to resign, he was whoooped at the polling booth.

So next time the pot decides to call the kettle black, just remember isn't wasn't an incidental accident that Brozoski's e-mail account just happened to be the only one in the entire city hall that went blank ...... hmmmmmmmmm.


At least he won't have to answer all of his zany quirks in public, the delete button saved him!


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