MULTIPLE ETHICS COMPLAINTS AGAINST HOUSTON COUNTY MN PLANNING COMMISSIONER LODGED BY CITIZENS

Dan Griffin, Houston County Planning Commission Chair

Sept. 29, 2015 Caledonia, Minnesota, (Houston County). Video links of meetings available below.

An ethics complaint against Dan Griffin, Chair of the Houston County Planning Commission was submitted to the Houston County Human Resources Department and County Auditor on Monday Sept. 21. Local residents of Houston County delivered the document.

(View video of local resident Michael Fields discussing the complaint)

The complaint contends that Mr. Griffin failed to:

· “promote decisions which only benefit the public interest.”

· “actively promote public confidence in County government.”

· “maintain a positive image to pass constant public scrutiny.”

· “inject the prestige of the office into everyday dealings with the public and associates.”

· “maintain a respectful attitude toward employees, other public officials, colleagues and associates.”

· “faithfully comply with all laws, regulations and policies applicable to the County and impartially apply them to everyone.”

These violations stem from a July 23, 2015 Planning Commission meeting where Planning Commissioner Rich Schild offered a motion that, if passed, would urge the County Board of Commissioners to direct the Zoning Administrator to vigorously enforce the Mineral Extraction County Zoning Ordinance. Mr. Griffin inexplicably confused the motion and then voted against it. The motion failed on a 4 – 2 vote with one abstention. (Video of this exchange is available at this link.) This means the Planning Commission essentially voted against a motion to enforce their own ordinance. Read the news release about this vote.

The minutes of this meeting did not accurately reflect what transpired and showed Commissioner Schild voting against his own motion (un-true), which prompted Schild to raise the issue again on the August 27 meeting. During the meeting (view video here) Mr. Griffin compounded his obvious disregard for county regulations and their impartial application by shouting, interrupting, and pointing his finger at fellow Planning Commission member Rich Schild, who was trying to encourage the County to enforce their own regulations. Mr. Griffin’s attempt to humiliate and intimidate Mr. Schild (8/27/15)were disruptive to the proceedings of the Planning Commission, and prevented civil discussion and exchange of ideas necessary for the Commission to carry out its work with the impartiality required by the County’s Code of Ethics.

Read the full media release here

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WHAT'S NEXT ON FRAC SAND ISSUE?

The Issue: Three of the five County Commissioners failed to approve a ban ordinance in February of 2015. Since that failure, the county has been operating on the old outdated original ordinance.

 

F.R.E.E. and other local groups continue to press for a ban of frac sand mining in Houston County.