Topeka City Council Ethics Probe

By: Brian Quick Email
By: Brian Quick Email

A probe into whether Jeff Preisner and Brett Blackburn have ties to developer Gene Jani -- and thus, should not vote on his proposals due to a conflict of interest has been put off two weeks -- due to a slip-up by Preisner himself.

He adjourned the ethics probe -- to continue it after the council's regular meeting. He should have "recessed" the meeting. To continue it after it was adjourned would make it a new meeting -- and thus, violate the state's open meetings law that says there must be 24-hour advanced notice to the public.

Preisner's son has worked for Jani, while Blackburn's nursery has done business with him in the past.

John Alcala says he wants to know if Preisner made a call to get his son a job. Preisner says his son is an adult and can work anywhere he wants.

Blackburn says it is a shame everything in the city gets bogged down in politics.

A judge's injunction says both men were banned from voting on, or discussing Jani's project at 34th & Fairlawn until their issue is resolved. That has been put off until June 10th at Jani's request.

Another project, at 53rd & Wanamaker was sent back to the planning commission for further discussion.

There is no council meeting after Memorial Day, so the ethics discussion continues June 3.


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