by Max Brantley
So Mayor Mark Stodola tells the D-G he's going to let the "dust settle" before he tells the public how he spent his surplus campaign money, as much as $39,000. We already know that he has decided to violate city ordinance by not making a complete accounting by the required deadline last week. He's hiding behind an 11th-hour legal opinion reversal from City Attorney Tom Carpenter, whose job has been threatened by Stodola. Stodola had made it clear prior to Carpenter's opinion that he should get to keep his money, no matter what the ordinance says.
Stodola says he'll do "right." He's already done wrong. The do-right rule says that, absent a clear court ruling, a city official should follow the city ordinance not flout it.
But why should the mayor account for anything? He doesn't ask the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce to account for its $200,000 tax haul. Oh, wait. Maybe it's like the chamber's supposed "audited" report. Since the mayor says he's going to give some money to charity, we should just take him at his word that all his leftover is going to charity. Who needs details?
This thinking would simplify things quite a bit throughout city government, from the credit card happy Little Rock National Airport on down. When Ron Mathieu takes a business trip to Brussels, he can just say, "Reimburse me for $8,000. You have my word that some of the money went for a plane, some for meals, some for a hotel. Trust me." Call it Generally Accepted Stodola/Chamber Accounting Principles. (GASCAP)