Residents file complaints against Norman councilman

Two Norman residents have lodged complaints that city council member Tom Kovach violated an ethics ordinance during the recent mayoral campaign.
by Jane Glenn Cannon Modified: April 3, 2013 at 10:25 pm •  Published: April 4, 2013
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— Two residents have filed formal complaints against Councilman Tom Kovach, alleging he violated the city's ethics ordinance during the recent mayoral campaign.

City Attorney Jeff Bryant said he is looking into complaints filed by Mary Francis and Ben Alpers.

Francis alleges Kovach violated the ethics ordinance by accepting $3,750 in consulting fees from mayoral candidate Tom Sherman.

Alpers alleges Kovach violated the ordinance by sending a mass email to people with a link to a news story about allegations that Mayor Cindy Rosenthal had violated the Open Meeting Act.

According to Alpers' complaint, Kovach leaked information to a reporter that led to the story, then urged people to read the story without disclosing that he was a paid consultant in Sherman's campaign.

Both residents allege Kovach violated the portion of the city's ethics ordinance that prohibits council members from using their offices to endorse or oppose a candidate.

Conflict of interest?

Francis also alleges that Kovach's acceptance of consulting fees “gives the appearance of a conflict of interest,” something the ethics ordinance warns against.


by Jane Glenn Cannon
Senior Reporter
A native of Oklahoma, Jane Glenn Cannon is an award-winning reporter who has covered everything from crime, courts and government to entertainment and features. She wrote a popular personal column for many years. She is a former associate writer...
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