Evanston’s Board of Ethics issued findings this week on the remaining complaints stemming from the April 4 election.

In a complaint filed by Betty Ester against incoming 5th Ward Alderman Robin Rue, Deputy City Attorney Michelle Masoncup says the board concluded that it created “an appearance of impropriety” when Rue, a member of the city’s M/W/EBE Development Committee, presented a request for grant funding for Sunshine Enterprises to the Economic Development Committee when Rue was to be employed by Sunshine in carrying out the grant-funded project.

The Economic Development Committee recommended approval of the grant to the City Council.

However, Masoncup said, the ethics panel held that the connection “was sufficiently tenuous” that “it did not constitute a violation of the Code of Ethics.”

Regarding a complaint filed by Misty Witenberg, an unsucessful candidate for 5th Ward alderman, against retiring 5th Ward Alderman Delores Holmes, Masoncup said Holmes violated the ethics code when she “acted in a manner that showed a lack of impartiality by disseminating information obtained in the course of duties as an elected official from one candidate” to a member of the campaign team of the candidate she later endorsed.

And the board rejected a complaint from another losing 5th Ward aldermanic candidate, Carolyn Murray, that Holmes had violated ethics guidelines by distributing a 5th Ward community newsletter after the election.

The board is scheduled to produce written findings and an advisory opinion on the ethics complaints at its May 16 meeting.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated, based on new information from Masoncup. The update reverses the outcome of the Witenberg complaint.

Related story

Ethics panel rejects three claims (4/19/17)

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Incompetent Inconsistency
    Would these complaints had been filed had Alderman Holmes endorsed the other candidates? No they would have not. Yet one lied about residency . one lied about being part of a community group. You have to question the Incompetent inconsistency of those bring complaints. Neither being qualified or trustworthy to hold public office nor should ever be allowed to.

    1. Ald. Holmes


      Alderwoman Holmes was one of the better Council Persons and was very good for the 5th Ward and I bet many are sorry to see her leave. As for the 5th Ward candidates, all were flawed and regardless which one was elected, I feel sorry for the 5th Ward residents. 

      1. Sorry is Game

        I don’t feel sorry for the residents of the fifth ward , they have more than a qualified Alderman -elect., who you should feel sorry for are the sore losers , who tried to tarnish the image of Alderman Holmes and all that she had done for the community, which neither of them could hold a match stick to her work. All they have done is tarnish thier hopes of being elected in a community that basically were fostered by Alderman Holmes, and havent the slighest clue to the ward that they are themselves basically sttrangers to.

      2. 5th ward candidates

        I’m actually excited about having Robin Rue Simmons as our new 5th ward council member.  She did her homework for a whole year before running for election.  She’s highly qualified and will hit the ground running.

    2. Integrity
      It’s unfortunate that the end result in using such tackless and unprofessional behavior… have done harm to themselves..should either run for public office in the future..they will not be considered a trusting candidate.

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