The Debbie August Case
The case against this Fortuna City Councilgal is another one I haven't followed too closely, but from what I have heard, I'm kinda surprised it came to actual charges being filed. She's accused of using undue influence and having a conflict of interest in helping get some permits for some development filed, among other things. According to the latest news, most of the charges were thrown out by the judge. Good.
It seems to me that what she did might well have been innocent enough in intent but she didn't deal with the red tape properly. As far as improperly trying to influence some permit process, being a real estate agent, I would think it would be hard to follow the fine line of proper conduct if you have to deal with real estate issues as part of your duty sitting on the council. Seems to me much of what was done is likely politics as usual in local government.
Hey, in small towns you know a lot of people and most people generally try to hang with people they know and like. Councilcritters are no different. So, I suspect their everyday dealings will always have the look of impropriety to some. In August's case she might well have accidentally crossed the line. No doubt in my mind the same might have happened to any of us in the same situation. Not sure criminal charges were necessary in this case.