Thursday, March 31, 2011

UPDATE: Bruce alleges, sans proof, that Hente broke law

Posted By on Thu, Mar 31, 2011 at 5:01 PM

If any doubts remained about whether Scott Hente is telling the truth about his email, the city appears to have dispelled them.

The city has compiled all emails received at official city email addresses from Hente's personal email address on March 16, the day he sent the email in question.

None of them appears to be election-related. Here's the list:

From To Subject Received Status Status Changed Re: CSU April agenda 3/31/2011 9:07:27 AM Delivered on Thursday, 31 March 2011, 09:07:27 3/31/2011 9:07:27 AM Re: CSU April agenda 3/31/2011 9:07:27 AM Delivered on Thursday, 31 March 2011, 09:07:27 3/31/2011 9:07:27 AM Re: City Planning Commission 3/29/2011 5:00:35 PM Delivered on Tuesday, 29 March 2011, 17:00:35 3/29/2011 5:00:35 PM Re: cancel 3:00 meeting today 3/28/2011 11:19:54 AM Delivered on Monday, 28 March 2011, 11:19:54 3/28/2011 11:19:55 AM Accepted: Meeting with Pat Kelly re campaign finance disclosures 3/25/2011 8:38:19 AM Delivered on Friday, 25 March 2011, 08:38:19 3/25/2011 8:38:19 AM Re: Meeting with Pat Kelly re campaign finance disclosures 3/25/2011 8:38:04 AM Delivered on Friday, 25 March 2011, 08:38:04 3/25/2011 8:38:04 AM Accepted: Meeting with Pat Kelly re campaign finance disclosures 3/23/2011 3:42:19 PM Delivered on Wednesday, 23 March 2011, 15:42:19 3/23/2011 3:42:19 PM Read: Breakfast notes 3/10/2011 4:12:57 AM Delivered on Thursday, 10 March 2011, 04:12:57 3/10/2011 4:12:57 AM Re: Chief Myers' mother 3/2/2011 5:52:44 PM Delivered on Wednesday, 02 March 2011, 17:52:44 3/2/2011 5:52:44 PM Fire Awards Banquet 2/15/2011 7:46:24 AM Delivered on Tuesday, 15 February 2011, 07:46:24 2/15/2011 7:46:24 AM

——- POST,3:37, WEDNESDAY ——-
Scott Hente is back from Denver, but has decided not to release his e-mail list, saying that Douglas Bruce has requested the list as well, and he does not wish to share his friends' information with Bruce.

"If I'm not going to give them to him — and by the way, I'd never give them to him — then I can't be inconsistent and give them to a reporter," Hente said. "... It's e-mails of my friends, and I'm not going to subject them to e-mail and harassment from people that they may not want to get e-mails from."

Hente added, however, that he has gone back through the list and confirmed that he did not send the message to any city e-mail addresses, though he did send it to some city employees at their personal e-mail addresses. He added that he had "help" in deciding how to send out the e-mail without violating the law, though he declined to say who helped him.

If Bruce files an ethics complaint with the city, Hente has said he would be happy to share the list with the committee members. He said Bruce's complaint shows "how weak and desperate the man is" and adds, ""I know he's got no proof, because there is no proof."


Douglas Bruce
  • Douglas Bruce

City Council candidate Douglas Bruce staged a press conference today to call out a mass e-mail sent from City Councilman Scott Hente. Perhaps Bruce should have done some homework first.

The e-mail, which Bruce obtained from fellow Council candidate and Reform Team member Ed Bircham (Bircham got it from his son, who in turn got it from an accountant), is critical of Bruce and the Reform Team. In the message, Hente states, "I feel I must reach out to as many of our City's employees and residents as possible." He also urges voters not to vote for members of the Reform Team.

Standing outside the City Administration Building, Bruce stated that the e-mail may be a violation of state law. He said it was possible that Hente was using city resources for electioneering. Hente, he said, may have used a city terminal to send the e-mail. Or sent the e-mail to city employee's official addresses. Or obtained the personal e-mail addresses of city employees through the power of his office.

What's more, Bruce said, Hente was clearly abusing the power of his office.

"For him to tell them how the boss — or one of the nine bosses — wants them to vote is reprehensible," Bruce said.

But Bruce hadn't actually called Hente to see if any of his allegations were true. A quick phone call to Hente, who is in meetings in Denver for the day, answered all of Bruce's questions.

Hente said he had used his home computer to send the e-mail, had been careful only to send it to people's personal e-mail addresses, and had never used his office to obtain the personal e-mails of city employees. What's more, Hente says he is within his First Amendment rights to encourage people to vote for whomever he wishes, so long as he's acting as a private citizen.

As for Bruce, Hente said, "He's making an assumption based on not knowing the facts."

Hente agreed to forward his e-mail list to the Indy when he returns from Denver, so reporters can ensure no official city emails were included.

Bruce says he's not sure if he plans to file a complaint with the city's Independent Ethics Commission.

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