Leftovers Column: All in the family

5448-holloway.jpg

Leftovers Column: Ethical standards often out of focus By Jennifer McLain and Tania Chatila, Staff Writers Article Launched: 09/07/2008 11:03:07 PM PDT

The art of adhering to ethical standards is kind of like walking a tightrope. One step to the right or left, and all of a sudden you’ve got a problem.

For politicians, the craft is especially tricky and it’s sometimes hard to tell where that very thin line is crossed.

We learned last week that La Puente City Councilman Dan Holloway’s daughter did some contract work for the city over a five-month period spanning December 2006 to May 2007.

Holloway hadn’t been elected to the council yet. He still was serving a stint on the Planning Commission at the time.

His daughter, Shannon Holloway, was a contracted photographer and took photos at several city events such as the 2006 holiday parade and the 2007 St. Patrick’s Day senior dance.

Records show the younger Holloway charged $50 an hour for the work and made a total of $775 off the city until she was told she no longer could work for La Puente.

The decision came down last spring from City Manager Carol Cowley, who – among other city officials – worried about a perceived conflict of interest.

City policies state no relatives of an officer or employee can work for the city on a full-time basis. Shannon, of course, wasn’t working full-time. She wasn’t even an employee.

“But it was the perception,” according to Cowley.

As of Sunday afternoon, Shannon Holloway still was listing herself as La Puente’s “city photographer” from “12/06-Present” on her MySpace page. It was corrected by nightfall.

The city has been using a new photographer since around last June and records show original CD’s with all of Shannon Holloway’s photos were released back to Dan Holloway in March.

City officials say Shannon made it clear the city no longer could reproduce her work, although some of it is featured in the 2008 La Puente calendar, but only because that specifically was what the work was for.

Councilman John Solis said the issue caused friction between Cowley – who is retiring at the end of this monthafter less than two years as city manager – and Holloway.

“He put up a fight,” Solis said. “He was really upset that (Shannon) couldn’t work for the city (anymore). That’s one of the issues he had with (Cowley).”

Holloway said he really had nothing to do with issue, and it was a former parks and recreation director who knowingly hired Shannon for the work. He also said officials at the state and federal level agreed her contract work technically was not a conflict of interest.

“I was only upset to the point that I asked (Cowley) specifically who had made the complaint to her and it was not forthcoming,” Holloway said.

The entire incident brings up key questions on when and where to draw the line when serving in office – or if a line even exists.

Some argue La Puente is a small town with small-town

politics, so there’s bound to be some harmless crossover.

jennifer.mclain@sgvn.com

tania.chatila@sgvn.com

(626) 962-8811, Ext. 2477, 2109

  • Bigger issues exist in La Puente

    It’s pretty clear there was no conflict of interest. Too, if there was ever a point where a contract between Dan’s daughter and the City needed to be approved by the council, Dan could abstain from that vote, further ensuring the lack of a conflict. It’s really not very complicated.

  • LP Warrior

    I can’t believe this is being reported as news. Holloway was not even on the council at the time and was not involved in any of the decision-making. La Puente is a small town and the city should be encouraged to use residents and local businesses when it can. And naturally with a small town, there are always going to be connections. You leftover girls really are out to get Dano…

  • Truth Prevails

    Boo hoo, poor Dan always the victim never the antagonist. To Bigger issues: Obviously you are ignorant of the conflict of interest laws and the Government Code. To LP Warrior: You would be the first to complain if the City hired relatives and family members of Planning Commissioners and Council Members — It is a conflict!

  • George

    Please tell me how this makes my life in the SGV better? This is not news, this is not a big deal. I’m sure our councilmembers (for the most part) are really doing there job to help our community. I’m sure he did nothing wrong because legal staff for the city would have said something…

    Looking at her Myspace page… Now that’s funny.

  • LP Resident

    Truth Prevails, The point is that Dan Holloway wasn’t a Councilman, haden’t filed to run for the Council and had nothing to do with his daughter;s hiring. That was all on the City who hopefully knew who was on their planning commission when they hired the girl. She certainly did nothing wrong. I don’t see it as poor Dan, I see it as poor La Puente that we have such incompetent people running City Hall and willing to run their mouths to cover their political butts.

  • Anonymous

    So I’m a bit unclear, exactly what was unethical here? The City of La Puente hired the Holloway kid, no one said her work wasn’t good, and they let her go for some phantom political reason. She broke no laws, her dad broke no laws or even gave a hint of having a conflict of interest. Then the City apparently continued to use her work? So the appearance of a conflict of interest only applies when it is political but not when it benifits the city by using the Holloway kid’s work for their gain? Sounds like someone at City Hall is trying to make Dan Holloway look bad and the Tribune is dumb enough to be their mouthpiece. In the process they both point out exactly how poorly the City and the Tribune are run.

  • Roberta

    Must have been a really slow news day. If this is news I’m canceling my paper.

  • Gloria

    At least you got the picture right.

  • My Dog Spot

    AHW poor Dan,Never does anything wrong 50.00 an hour wow ,and she wasn’t let go it seams till after he became a Councilmen.Why does it seem when something wrong Holloway is at the center,the previous council never had these. There is only 1 equation CAN YOU GUESS

  • My Dog Spot

    AHW poor Dan,Never does anything wrong 50.00 an hour wow ,and she wasn’t let go it seams till after he became a Councilmen.Why does it seem when something wrong Holloway is at the center,the previous council never had these. There is only 1 equation CAN YOU GUESS

  • Anonymous

    So I see that Dan is your Brittney this week… attack, attack, attack. See if you could get a picture of him stepping out of his car with no underwear on.

  • Bigger issues exist in La Puente

    Truth Prevails: if by ignorant you mean I’m an attorney that has represented various types of municipalities in conflict of interest law, then yes, I am very ignorant.
    Either you’re a bail bonds man turned club bouncer or someone with their own petty agenda (or both). Either way, La Puente doesn’t benefit from those like you.
    Is Dan always innocent? I’m not saying that, because I (or you) can’t possibly know that. Is he innocent with regard to this NON issue? Absolutely.
    If you don’t think so, file a report with the LA County DA. I’m sure they could use a good laugh.

  • DAN HOLLOWAY IS POLARIZING LA PUENTE

    Dan Holloway is a MAGNET for controversy. He is a polarizing politician because of his big mouth. you either like him or hate him. Is he the same guy that was caught watching porno at City Hall?

  • anonymous

    poor judgement…maybe. not very smart….probably.
    conflict of interest as defined under the law…nope.

  • Tone Fish

    poor judgment, arrogance, and big head is how Dan Holloway is described. Now he is trying to fire the City Manager. Holloway reminds me of those politicians that divide people and want special favors. Go to a council meeting to see him talk, he talks about himself and is never wrong. me me me me is all he says.

  • Dr. Teeth & the Electric Mayhem

    oops! wrong forum.

  • LP Warrior

    Tone Fish, I didn’t realize Dan was so powerful that he could unilateraly try and fire the City Manager. Maybe that is why she retired because she was so scared of the mighty Dano that she thought it better to retire. And Truth prevails, i was not the first to complain when Parks and Recs first hired a relative member of a Planning Commissioner back in 2006. If anyone kept up with the City and not just the blogs, you would know this is not news.

  • LP Warrior

    Dan Holloway is always at the middle of controversy. First he was investigated for illegal campaign money by the DA, now he is trying to fire the city manager.

    Me me me me me me! I am Dan Holloway and I want more more more more!

    Hire all my family. I am the King and I rule this City!

    Thats how Dan Holloway is. Holloway reminds me of those politicians that divide people and want special favors. Go to a council meeting to see him talk, he talks about himself and is never wrong. me me me me is all he says.

  • Gen. George Washington

    would someone please tell this guy to get off of his high horse?

    http://media1.guzer.com/pictures/fat_wheelie.jpg

  • LP 1

    Dan Holloway thinks he is KING of La Puente. He is trying to fire our City Manager and is trying to get his family on the city payroll and is under investigation by the DA and was caught looking at porno internet at city hall and is dividing the city in two camps and is always finding trouble to get in.

  • Barbara Fox

    I always enjoy trying to figure out who writes these comments on BLOGS. Sometimes it is hard, this time it is pretty easy. I count at least 6 negative comments that obviously come from Councilman John Solis and his crew. Funny, I recall listening to Council Meeting tapes months ago when Lola Storing and John Solis called Dan Holloway “King” because he wouldn’t allow them to disrespect him in Council Meetings and put them in their place. I thought their comments at the time it were odd and very unprofessional. When I saw Holloway called “King” in a couple of posts I remembered Solis and Storing’s comments. Storing has indicated before that she doesn’t have or want a computer so any comment on this BLOG with King in it surely points at you know who as the source! All the mud they keep slinging at Holloway never ever seems to really stick because it is all political and has no merit. The DA looked into the false accusations of an illegal campaign mailer and found there was no illegal mailer. Holloway reported all his contributions and no action by the DA was taken. Of course it is too bad you never hear this type of follow up in the paper or on this BLOG. Alegaitions of a having his daughter hired by the City is also unfounded. From reviewing the time line in the Tribune story it is clear she was let go before Holloway was even a council candidate. I’ve known the Holloway Family for years and had a couple of the children, including Shannon, in my class. I supported his Council run and worked to get him elected and he is one of the most honest, community spirited and god fearing family men I know. He ran for all the right reasons and beat all the incumbent’s in the election by a wide margin. Now they think they can hide in the bushes and throw mud and remain above the fray. This was a non-story to begin with and these comments are political and exactly what is wrong with La Puente and exactly what I would expect from the “old guard”. Apparently CHANGE doesn’t happen without a lot of screaming and yelling from those who have the most to lose.

  • LP 1

    too bad that Holloway is trying to fire our city manager. she is a good person and should not be afraid for her job like she is. have you seen her lately? she does not come out of her office when he is at city hall because he threatens to fire her.

    Holloway is bad news and is under investigation! Beware La Puente.

  • LP Warrior

    Why does trouble always follow this guy? Holloway thinks he is KING! Holloway, you need to stop trying to be the king. Holloway is trying to fire the city manager because she revealed his improper use of city money.

  • Original LP Warrior

    Not very original to be using someone else’s posting name, but then again your comments about Holloway trying to be KING are very idiotic so it makes sense that you would do that.