Ethics talks flare up

In January 2008, when no response came from the town board, Ann Klotz read the complaint at a public meeting. The complaint specifically addressed town policy banning political activity in the workplace.

"Given that there has been no response from my Oct. 1 submission, I am now publicly requesting that the town board review of the actions of Supervisor Paul Sausville relating to political activity in violation of the Malta town employee manual," read Ann Klotz. "If it is determined that he violated the town policy manual, I ask that appropriate sanctions be imposed."

In fact, Sausville had reminded town employees about the policy just before elections in November 2007. In a memo dated Sept. 5, from Sausville to town department heads, obtained by Spotlight Newspapers this week, Sausville wrote, "The town board wishes to re-emphasize our policy against political activity in the workplace in direct and indirect ways, including the use of copy machines, requests for signatures, petitions and votes, e-mails, political meetings, hallway conferences, as well as working on town time."

Sausville's memo also states: "This applies not only to staff but to elected officials. It is town policy and in the public interest that all political activity in the workplace be avoided."

The employee manual further states, "No employee of the town of Malta may authorize any person to use his or her affiliation with the town of Malta in an attempt to suggest the employee's support or opposition to a nomination or an election for office or a ballot measure is of an 'official,' as distinguished from private, character."

Sausville questions employee manual

Monday night, in a surprise move, an item of new business not included on the draft agenda, Sausville asked the board to vote to release town officials from adhering to the employee manual. Sausville used several benign examples to explain his motion.

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