Letter To The Editor In Times Union
Times Union coverage of Saratoga Springs City Council actions regarding Mayor Joanne Yepsen‘s ethics violation does a disservice to the facts. The city’s ethics board, whose members were all appointed by Yepsen, found that she violated the city’s ethics code by soliciting fundraising work from Saratoga Hospital while the council was considering its request for a $14 million expansion. Council approval of the requested expansion would have led the hospital to raise significant funds.
A recent editorial characterized the council as “petty” for censuring Yepsen and requesting a state investigation of her actions (“World class, small town,” July 22). Yet, in 2014, when Yepsen requested a state investigation of another city department and its commissioner regarding accusations made by that department’s previous administration — who just happens to be one of her key donors — the Times Union Editorial Board praised her.
Yepsen blames the ethics code. This is strange considering the council, of which she is a member, reviewed the code in late 2015 while she was asking the hospital to hire her. Yepsen won’t acknowledge the obvious impropriety in soliciting employment from an entity while it is requesting her affirmative vote on a project that is important to them.
Once I learned of her questionable attempts to secure employment from the hospital while we were reviewing their expansion application, I repeatedly advised her to admit mistakes, apologize and let us move on. Instead, she has attempted to mislead the commissioners and the public by claiming that any questions about her solicitations are political in nature.
We aren’t petty; we are doing our jobs. Anything less would be a serious failure and a violation of the public trust.
Commissioner of Finance Saratoga Springs