I am shocked! SHOCKED!
Councilman used city money to finance tennis lessons
MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — City Councilman Thomas Sullivan said Wednesday that his decision to use city money for private tennis lessons should not be deemed a misuse of funds.
"The children of friends, no, I don't think it's unethical," Sullivan told the Mobile Register.
Which makes you wonder exactly where he would
draw the line.
In 2001, Sullivan authorized a payment of $2,500 from his discretionary fund to be used for private tennis lessons at Mobile Tennis Center for the children of two family friends who were also campaign workers.
The city's contract for the lessons listed a payment of $3,100 to Mobile Tennis Center Pro. The newspaper reported that the reason for the discrepancy was unclear.
Janele Cooley and Wilbert Cooley, the children of Wilbert and Kandee Cooley, were signed up for training slated to include two months of clinics, matches, private lessons and a trip to Montgomery, according to city documents.
All four Cooleys assisted in Sullivan's 1997 re-election campaign, the Mobile Register reported. Finance reports filed with Mobile County Probate Court said the campaign provided the family with financial compensation but did not specify a monetary amount.
Sullivan said his decision to fund the tennis lessons was not based on his connection with the family.
"If I see some kids, no matter who they are, who have potential in a sport, whether it's tennis, basketball, football, baseball, track or whatever, and I can do something legally to help this kid possibly get a scholarship, then I would do that," Sullivan said.
What a sweetie pie. Such kindness, such compassion. Such a firm grasp on the public purse. Then again, it is
awfully easy to be charitable with all that OPM lying about. OPM? "Other people's money."
He said he believed he previously contributed discretionary money to city-funded tennis lessons for groups of children in Lyons Park.
Discretionary records show that Sullivan also authorized a 2002 payment of $885 for a high school student to attend cheerleading camp. In 2001, he also dispensed $200 to Calloway-Smith Middle School for costs of a "Parent-Teacher Activity," headed by Kandee Cooley, to promote the May 15, 2001 tax referendum approved by voters.
Kandee Cooley's husband, Wilbert, is the director of the District 2 Senior Citizens Outreach Service, Sullivan said. The organization is funded by federal grant money approved by the council.
Sullivan also votes on monetary allocations to the Boys & Girls Clubs of South Alabama, which employs both the councilman and his wife and pays him about $28,000 as an attendance counselor, Sullivan said.
He denied, however, that there was a link between his allocation voting and his personal salary.
IGNORE THE MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN!
"The funding that I vote on goes to the Boys & Girls Clubs, but it does not pay my salary or my wife's salary, so I'm not gaining anything," he said.
With one fell swoop, the hoary old cliche about money being fungible is put to rest! Good show, sir!
Now then, where do I sign up my kids for some of this largesse?