Ethics Commission’s Verdict on HP Community League Using Town Hall Addy: Depends

You know, by now, that the address for the Highland Park Community League reflects its civic commitment. And it has since at least 2004, when one Stephen Rogers was HPCL treasurer, according to documents filed by the group with the Texas Ethics Commission, which regulates campaign finance and political advertising. But beyond appearances, is there anything illegal in a political group listing Town Hall’s digs as its purported headquarters?

That would depend on whether Highland Park officials/employees authorized spending public funds or used town property to distribute political advertising, said TEC spokesman Tim Sorrells. There’s nothing wrong with using Town Hall’s address per se. All that matters is whether public officials were involved.

Sorrells wouldn’t speak directly to the HPCL case or whether, say, having a town employee answer HPCL’s phone calls constituted an expenditure of public funds. That would be up to judgment of the TEC commissioner if a complaint were filed and an investigation launched.

4 thoughts on “Ethics Commission’s Verdict on HP Community League Using Town Hall Addy: Depends

  • May 4, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    “You know, by now, that the address for the Highland Park Community League reflects its civic commitment.”

    Gosh, that explains everything! I hereby withdraw all my earlier comments.

  • May 5, 2010 at 11:25 am

    Texas Ethics commission complaint in the works.

  • May 5, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    Given the excellent HP City Attorney and all of the good attorneys in HP, it’s shocking nobody in HP politics clearly saw a group promoting candidates for office for that municipality using its city hall addresss and telephone for official contact to be clear violations of law.

    There was the phone line and phone paid by the city, the phone was answered by city employees, messages were taken and relayed by city employees, mail was collected by city employees on city property, it was held or forwarded by city employees, and it would be curious to see if league mail had ever been sent at taxpayer expense.

    Even if we were talking about municipal bond campaigns instead of municipal candidate campaigns, the current and long-traditional method of operations with the city would be unethical and illegal.

    The ultimate test is, “anything of value”.

  • May 7, 2010 at 11:32 pm

    Sam should know about ethics complaints – looks like he was the subject of one, resulting in the revocation of his securities license.

    Was curious about his status as “CIO” of SCT Holdings and checked him out at (search for Sam Tamborello), the regulatory group for folks in the securities business. FINRA yanked his licence in 2005 while at “Tamborello Capital Management” in Highland Park, TX. Click on “Get Detailed Report” to view the quite colorful allegations.

    I’m surprised this hasn’t been discovered and brought up yet – Merritt, where are you?


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