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Steve O'Malley apparently will not be fired, or even fined, for delving into politics on his work time for La Crosse County.
After a two-hour hearing on Friday, the county ethics board ruled that O'Malley did not break any rules when he supported a drive to hire a city administrator in La Crosse. Former county board chair Steve Doyle said O'Malley has more freedom than the county's administrative coordinators were given in the past. Doyle says O'Malley often has 'free rein' to pursue activities that he thinks could help the county. Mike Tellier, one of the citizens who filed the complaint against O'Malley, said the ruling shows that 'corruption' in the county is 'pretty bad.'
The La Crosse County Ethics Board rules that county administrator Steve O'Malley did not violate ethics rules when he campaigned for a referendum on a city administrator for La Crosse.
The decision came late Friday afternoon, following a two-hour hearing. Ethics board members say O'Malley had the support of the La Crosse County Board and did not personally profit from his activities to get a city administrator elected. The referendum was defeated in April. The board ruled that citizens who filed the complaint did not show clear proof that O'Malley broke any rules. The complaint suggested that any political activity done by O'Malley on county time was outside of his job description.
A heat related death in La Crosse. According to the La Crosse County Medical Examiners Office a La Crosse woman is dead after succumbing to hot and humid conditions. The 68-year-old woman was found last night in her home on La Crosse's south side.
The woman had an air conditioner, but the unit was just blowing hot air into the home. The woman's body temperature was over 105 degrees.
A second death, thsi one in Richland County, is also being investigated as possibly heat-related.
The Overnight Cooling Center will return to the Salvation Army at 223 N. 8th and will be available tonight from 7:00 pm to 7:00 am. Residents are asked to call 2-1-1 for further information. A cool place and cots are provided. You are expected to bring bedding and personal medications. NO PETS are allowed. All visitors will be screened with a breathalyzer test.
Steve O'Malley's future as La Crosse County administrator is in the hands of a county ethics board...
Members of that board held a two-hour hearing today, to decide whether O'Malley violated ethics rules by supporting the campaign for a La Crosse city administrator. An attorney for critics who filed the ethics complaint says O'Malley is not allowed to participate in a political campaign of any sort on work time. O'Malley argues that much of his job, finding ways to benefit the county, is political. The plaintiffs want O'Malley to be found guilty, and be ordered to pay fines or be fired. The board has not indicated whether it will make a ruling today.