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Ethics commission vindication

On Friday, June 2, the Oregon Government Ethics Commission voted to dismiss the charges brought against me a year ago by Wood Village City Councilor Mark Clark. Councilor Clark was an employee of Wood Village who was dismissed during his probationary period and then ran for the City Council.

I am pleased to be vindicated by what was, in my opinion, a malicious attempt to destroy my reputation and impugn my integrity, validated by going public with 'confidential' information. My reputation is very important to me, and I have strived to be a very open and honest person throughout my 10 years as mayor of Wood Village.

My daughter, Dana Fuller, also suffered unjust treatment as a result of these accusations at the hand of the former city administrator, Sheila Ritz. Information Ritz gave to the media, one month before her retirement, was in direct violation of the city policy that limits disclosure of employment information to the years of service and date of dismissal. Dana did an excellent job for the city during the past five years and was primarily responsible for the growth and success of the city events, including the Easter Egg Hunt, our version of the National City Nite Out, End of Summer event, Sheriff's Academy, Mayor's Annual Dinner and other administrative support activities.

Ritz's action against my daughter (two days before Christmas), in my opinion, was in retaliation toward me for urging the council to bring in an outside consultant to review and offer suggestions for improving the city's organization, operation and procedures. Ritz appeared to resent the intrusion and reluctantly participated in the process. All those working for the city in administrative positions are 'at will' employees and subject solely to the whim of the city administrator without an appeal process.

The Bible tells me that 'God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.' The good I have experienced through this attack on me has had some rewarding benefits. I was astonished at the support and encouragement I received from many of the people I've worked with over the last 10 years. Some I would like to acknowledge include Metro Councilor Rod Park, Gresham Mayor Shane Bemis, Troutdale Mayor Jim Kight, County Commissioner Diane McKeel, Pastor Ehmann and his congregation at Wood Village Baptist Church, my own Pastor, Dwight Steele of Montavilla Baptist Church, Outlook Publisher Mark Garber, who wrote a very supportive editorial in the early stage of this investigation and, of course, my wife, family and friends who suffered through this process with me.

My most sincere 'thanks' to Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Staton and Chief Deputy Jason Gates for the event they sponsored in appreciation and celebration of my 10 years of service as mayor. Unfortunately, it seems, something like this needs to happen to find out who your real friends are - my heartfelt thanks to all who believed in me. Through this process, I have ended up a stronger person with a greater degree of faith.

David M Fuller is the former mayor of Wood Village.