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Wednesday, August 14,2013

Wood cleared by Ethics Board

by Andy Balaskovitz
Carol Wood
Wednesday, Aug. 14 — The city of Lansing’s Ethics Board cleared City Council President Carol Wood Tuesday night of any wrongdoing after a formal complaint alleged she used city resources for personal business and didn’t fully disclose financial interests.


A formal complaint filed June 26 by B. Michael “Willy” Williams alleged Wood did not disclose all of the income from 2012 for her consulting business, CEW Consulting. The complaint also alleged Wood used city resources for her own business.


Appearing before the board on Tuesday, Wood elected to have a closed-door hearing, based on her attorney’s advice, she said. She was represented by George Brookover, an attorney well known for his political connections.


Wood’s original 2012 “statement of financial interests” — which is required annually of elected and appointed officials — said she had “no clients at this time,” though a May story in City Pulse showed that two local political campaigns had paid CEW a combined $4,700 in 2012. After the story was published and Williams’ formal complaint was lodged, Wood amended her financial statements to include the campaigns of Circuit Judge James Jamo and 68th House District candidate Griffin Rivers, which paid for Wood’s services.


The amended statement appears to have cleared Wood. An analysis by the City Attorney’s Office, and confirmed Tuesday by the Ethics Board, said, “No reliable direct evidence has been presented CEW had any clients in addition to those disclosed” in her amended statement. The analysis also said that Williams’ claims about using city resources were “unsupported speculation,” since no evidence was presented that showed a violation.


The board comprises eight appointees, four by the mayor and four by the City Council.

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