Council Member Says Mayor Is Trying To Smear His Name

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February 21, 2012

A Wichita City Council member is under investigation by the Kansas Ethics Commission.

Councilman Michael O'Donnell is accused of using his city email to send out private fundraiser invitations for a friend.

"At that point I was only in office 5 months," said O'Donnell. "I was new, and it was sloppy and i wasn't thinking."

O'Donnell will face the state ethics commission next month. State documents say the commission is accusing O'Donnell of using a City of Wichita computer and a city email account to send at least 39 emails to individuals requesting their financial sponsorship for a fundraiser for Senator Love.

"I wasn't making any money off of it. I forwarded it from that email because i had the addresses there," said O'Donnell.

The complaint was filed in November, but until now, it wasn't made public, that is, until, O'Donnell says the mayor and two other city council members leaked the internal investigation to the media.

"This is something I did. It wasn't smart. It was stupid. For the mayor to try to get points for his party, it's sad i just don't understand it," said O'Donnell.

It's no secret O'Donnell and the mayor are at odds over several different issues. The two often openly debating during council meetings.

The mayor nor the city manager would comment on the issue. O'Donnell will appear before the ethics commission on March 21. He faces a fine up to $5,000.

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