Marana councilman's actions questioned - Tucson Local Media: Pima Pinal

Marana councilman's actions questioned

Town attorney forwards result of inquiry into Clanagan's dealings to attorney general's office

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Posted: Thursday, January 8, 2009 12:00 am

The Arizona Attorney General’s Office could decide to investigate Marana Councilman Russell Clanagan’s dealings with area businesses and the Continental Ranch Community Association.

In messages sent from his town e-mail account last fall, Clanagan pledged his support for a number of candidates for election to the Continental Ranch HOA board.

Also last fall, Clanagan set up a free gym membership with a fitness center that had business before the town council.

And, while exchanging messages with another business seeking town approval to expand its offices, Clanagan mentioned that another council member had an out-of-work son. Clanagan wondered whom the council member’s son might contact regarding potential openings.

Marana town attorney Frank Cassidy investigated the incidents last month, not long after Continental Ranch resident Angela Wagner-Gabbard had sought access to Clanagan’s town e-mails and letters under the Freedom of Information Act.

Wagner-Gabbard wanted access to four months of Clanagan’s correspondence to determine the extent of the councilman’s involvement in the Continental Ranch HOA board election, for which she ran an unsuccessful campaign.

But, based on the other incidents her review turned up, she urged Clanagan to resign. She did so publicly at a town council meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 6.

In a Dec. 31 memo to Marana officials, Cassidy said that he found “insufficient evidence to conclude that Council Member Clanagan had committed a crime.”

Clanagan has denied any wrongdoing. He said of Wagner-Gabbard’s call for him to resign: “I was kind of surprised by her tactics, but I know she’s just a very sore loser.”

Wagner-Gabbard said she had not sought Clanagan’s endorsement in the HOA election. “I didn’t know he was supporting anyone until the campaign was over,” she said this week.

The councilman’s involvement in the HOA election wasn’t prohibited by town policies, Cassidy concluded in his investigation of the matter.

Still, Cassidy chose to forward his findings to Attorney General Terry Goddard’s office for a formal review.

As of Thursday, Jan. 8, it was not known whether state officials had received Cassidy’s report.

Find out more in next week’s edition of The Explorer.

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