Mayor Maggard has given her State of the City speech, and while there were laudatory examples of the city's direction and health, I couldn't help but feel while listening to her that no matter how many rose bushes she plants in Whitehall, their sweet smell will never be enough to cover the underlying stench of amoral ethical behavior she's contributed to this city in her capacity as public servant.

To the Editor:

Mayor Maggard has given her State of the City speech, and while there were laudatory examples of the city's direction and health, I couldn't help but feel while listening to her that no matter how many rose bushes she plants in Whitehall, their sweet smell will never be enough to cover the underlying stench of amoral ethical behavior she's contributed to this city in her capacity as public servant.

It caused her to breach her oath of office by not supporting the U.S. Constitution, never citing with specificity the law which overruled Camara vs. Municipal Court or which superseded the Supreme Court's decision regarding the conduct of code officers. So too, the deeper aspects of our collective society take the hits she inflicts upon them when consistently ignoring conflicts of interest that benefit both her personal and political gains.

Merriam-Webster defines conflict of interest as "a conflict between the private interests and the official responsibilities of a person in a position of trust." The Ethics Resource Center in Arlington, Va., says: "Conflicts of interest act as a cancer that eat away at those institutions (democracies and free markets)."

Ignoring conflicts of interest, both now and in the past, harms us, whether participating in a candidates forum set up by groups she was associated with and which benefited her run for mayor, or, as auditor, helping fundraise to oust a democratically elected peer; or when favoring friends and cronies for crucial and/or good paying jobs; or when both she and City Attorney Mike Shannon attempt to end term limits for public officials in Whitehall by donating $300 apiece to that cause.

Ultimately, it is the actions that have the more lasting and damaging impact, both to Whitehall and America, which her job must be judged. In that, she has failed.

Gerald Dixon