It is my opinion that Asmar has violated the City Code of Ethics proposed by Mayor Hayward in February 2011 and passed by Council.
Sec. 2-6-3. - Prohibitions
(g) An official or employee of the City of Pensacola may not, directly or indirectly, treat anyone, including himself or herself and his or her family or business associates, preferentially or in any other manner that is not generally accorded to city residents.
(h) An official or employee of the City of Pensacola, or a former official or employee, a contractor or a consultant, may not disclose any confidential information obtained formally or informally as part of his or her work for the city or due to his or her position with the city, or use any such confidential information to further his or her own or any other person or entity's personal or financial interests.
In my opinion, Asmar violated Article (g) in that he provided Outzen with information not publically available nor provided to any other press outlet. The two have a long established relationship both in business and personally. Additionally, Asmar expedited Outzen requests for public records not afforded to City Council much less City residents.
In my opinion, Asmar violated Article (h) in that he disclosed confidential information to Outzen, specifically:
- A document he wrote for the Mayor which clearly stated attorney-client privilege
- Internal documents regarding Mayoral policies and internal city business
On March 16, 2011, Mayor Hayward wrote City Council asking for approval of his code of ethics. He stated:
"President DeWeese and I have worked very hard to ensure that this Code of Ethics is a reasonable, common sense document that sets a standard for the type of transparent and ethical government our Citizens deserve."
I call on Mayor Hayward to act on this matter and live up to his pledge of transparent and ethical government.