By Derrick DePledge
Daniel Mollway, the former executive director of the state Ethics Commission, has urged the commission to fire Leslie Kondo, the current executive director, for allegedly operating in a "rogue and arbitrary fashion."
In a March 27 letter to the commission, Mollway faults Kondo for publicly suggesting that a former member of a state mortgage foreclosure task force has violated the ethics law when no formal case has ever been brought before the commission.
The mortgage foreclosure task force member -- Marvin Dang, an attorney and lobbyist -- has been locked in a lengthy battle with Kondo after Kondo pronounced in 2011 that task force members are state employees subject to the ethics code. Kondo determined that task force members were thus unable to lobby for pay on task-force related matters before the Legislature.
Kondo's view was seen as an overreach by some lawmakers, who in 2012 changed the law to exempt task force members from some provisions of the ethics code. A bill this year -- which Kondo opposes and alleges is only for Dang -- would apply the exemption retroactively to the mortgage foreclosure task force and others in existence by June 2010.
Mollway, in his letter, says Kondo "is interested more in self-aggrandizement and public accolades than due process, and carrying out his duties as executive director in accordance with the law. This may make for great press, but it is wrong."
Mollway himself was fired by the Ethics Commission in 2010 after 24 years as executive director. The commission cited an investigative report critical of his work habits and management style.
The Ethics Commission on Wednesday will consider Mollway's request that Kondo be fired.