The City of South Lyon Board of Ethics is recommending that City Council find one of their own in violation of the ethics ordinance against another councilmember.

At the Board of Ethics meeting Tuesday night, the 3 member panel solidified facts found in the Councilman Carl Richards, Mary Parisien case that stemmed from an incident last October. The Board declared Richards to be in violation of section 2.73 of the ethics ordinance. Section 2.73 of the ethics ordinance states that city officials are bound to the “highest standards of morality…” and that “their conduct in both their official and private affairs should be above reproach.” City officials should also avoid “conduct which may tend to undermine respect for city officials and employees and for the city as a public body.”

Last Halloween, Parisien was contacted by a local business owner and was told that the 72-year-old Richards had been bragging about looking into the windows of her home, describing it in detail. Richards was also accused of making statements about her body and sexuality. Parisien was granted a personal protection order against Richards, but the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office will not be pressing charges. Richards has gone on record saying he only observed the house from the sidewalk, but the Board of Ethics found inconsistencies as to whether or not this could be true. Richards also said on record that he made the disparaging comments, but that they were meant as a joke.

Board of Ethics Chair Dan Beagle said that Richard’s behavior does not reflect well on himself, city council, or city administration, and undermines the City of South Lyon in general. He apologized to Councilwoman Parisien for Richards’ actions and attacks that he feels were coordinated against her, by Richards, once this case came to light. Beagle said the Board of Ethics does not have the power to discipline Richards for what he called “an egregious violation”, but that City Council, itself, does. The Board of Ethics recommendations and findings will now go to Council for consideration. (MK)