(Noun; a spoken or written account of connected events; a story.)
The average citizen harbors a strong mistrust towards government officials and employees. Because of this mistrust, there are ethics and values in place to provide much needed accountability between the general public and the local, state and federal administration. This solidifies the well-known fact that Public Administrators are held at a much higher standard, or at least; should be, with regard to ethics than your everyday citizen. Why is ethics in Public Service important? Why is it necessary? Why is it an invaluable tool? Ethics in Public Service is a crucial part of the day-to-day activities that Public Administrators enact.
There is absolutely no room for anything other than operating with full transparency.
Ethics embodies honesty, accountability, integrity, empathy and just knowing the difference between what is right and what is wrong. This includes operating strictly as a policy-driven individual. Merriam Webster Dictionary defines ethics as the discipline dealing with what is good and what is bad. Many corporations, organizations and especially government entities create strong mission statements to establish strict company values and ethics. These values and ethics set the tone, framework and character for the organizations and its employees. Granted, much of the ethical rhetoric has fallen by the way side, with many public officials being plastered with controversy in the media. The public demands answers and justice from all Public Servants who are involved with such controversy.
Some may get ethics and morals misconstrued. Although similar, there is a difference between these two entities. Morals, generally describe one’s personal beliefs and values as to what is right and wrong, whereas ethics refers to a wide range of moral principles solely based on a gray area of questionable activity. So, what is moral compass, and how does it fit into Public Service? A moral compasses is a tool to help navigate personal issues which affect any individual. These personal issues can include anything regarding finances; failure to pay income taxes, questionable purchases and money laundering. Moral compasses also deal with issues of health; drug use, alcohol abuse, obesity and unhealthy lifestyles.
There is much to consider when Public Servants are in uncompromising situations involving embezzling, misappropriation of funds, theft of property and so forth. Thomas Jefferson once famously noted, “When a man assumes a public trust, he should consider himself public property.” This statement could not be truer today, and surely ethically correct. Public Servants are operating 'public property'. They should be working in a transparent manner, with morals, integrity, honesty and putting the public’s trust above all things. This is what Jefferson meant when he proclaimed, “The basic obligation of Public Service.” Once lost, is it possible to gain the public’s trust back? Except in very rare and unusual circumstances, regaining public trust is, at best, doubtful. So it is in the City of Hamburg, Minnesota; Population 500 (+ or-).
In my view, it all started in 2014 because of the deleterious actions of a single individual, their CITY CLERK/TREASURER, JEREMY GRUENHAGEN. And, that's when all of the other Hamburg PUBLIC OFFICIALS; much to the detriment of the City and its residents, 'jumped on the band wagon' like rats following the Pied Piper; (a person who entices others to follow him), and everything began to 'go downhill'. There's also no question whatsoever in my mind that it was Hamburg's 'contract' CITY ATTORNEY, KELLY DOHM of the Waconia based law firm of MELCHERT, HUBERT & SJODIN, who was 'cheering everybody on' and was 'instrumental' in ALSO intentionally involving former CARVER COUNTY SHERIFF JAMES OLSON and current CARVER COUNTY ATTORNEY MARK METZ, in her 'zeal', combined with the determination of the other Hamburg PUBLIC OFFICIALS, trying desperately, and unsuccessfully, to force me off the Hamburg City Council before my four year term expired.
Instead of 'forcing me out', it ended up being "DO NOT PASS GO; BUT COLLECT $50,000.00 TAXPAYER DOLLARS FOR YOUR LAW FIRM" !!
Being a former Hamburg City Council Member (2013-2016), I was keenly aware of the unbelievable manner that Hamburg City Officials literally wasted taxpayer dollars. That reason, alone, was one (of many) 'deciding factors' in my filing for election to the Hamburg City Council in August of 2012. But there also were many other factors that solidified my decision to enter 'City Government': Make the community better, help those less fortunate, improve the 'quality of life' of residents, etc., etc., etc.
In November 2012, I was elected to a four year term and, believe me; those four years were certainly an 'eye opening' experience; to say the least. It didn't take me long to realize that if you are a member of the Hamburg City Council and choose NOT to be a 'member'' of the "GOOD OLD BOYS CLUB"', you'll certainly find out, in short order, what local, small town 'politics' is all about. (Round Peg; Square Hole.)
And how 'ugly and nasty' it can be.
I 'did my time' on the Hamburg City Council and had pretty much 'turned the page' on what was one of the most disappointing (and 'eye opening') experiences in all of my seventy-seven years on God's 'Good Earth'. I had NEVER, in all of my life, met such viscous, and in some cases, downright IGNORANT, self-centered people of such questionable character !! And they ALL were receiving MY (and other taxpayer's) dollars !! What I observed take place, and knowing that I had 'zero chance' of improving what was taking place, I simply 'disassociated' myself from people of so little character that I was 'forced' to be around; for those four years. I basically 'ignored' the City of Hamburg for about the next couple of years after my term expired. But that changed a little over a year ago; 'history' (in Hamburg) was about to 'repeat itself'.
In the fall of 2019, I received a City 'flyer' mailed out to all City residents containing various pieces of news and tidbits of general information. One particular 'tidbit of information had to do with the upcoming City budget for 2020; one of my 'favorite' categories. Among other topics that caught my attention was, "In regards to lawyer fees, that one is going to depend on the pending litigation with property owned in the heart of Hamburg. We are working diligently with the city attorney to get within the ballpark of potential legal fees."
I found that statement interesting for two reasons: First, the 'city attorney' (who was provided 'by contract' from the Waconia based law firm of MELCHERT, HUBERT and SJODIN), walked away with (about) $50,000.00 TAXPAYER DOLLARS in legal fees when the rest of the City Council was (first 'covertly; then 'overtly') vigorously (and viciously) trying to (unsuccessfully) 'oust' me off the City Council during the last 2.5 years of my term. Wasn't gonna happen !!
Secondly, that same Waconia based law firm, MELCHERT, HUBERT and SJODIN, was, once again, 'supplying' the 'contract attorney' to 'represent' the City of Hamburg in the 'pending litigation' referenced in the Fall 2019 'City Flyer' and regarding (land) property OWNED BY A HAMBURG CITY COUNCILMEMBER !!
Finding out about the 'pending lawsuit' involving a current Hamburg City Council Member, piqued my interest. I had previously heard 'rumblings' about some type of 'disagreement' between the City and the City Council Member about property he owned in the City, but I thought that 'issue' had been resolved'. Apparently it wasn't.
On October 15, 2019, as a concerned and taxpaying resident, I send an (innocent) e-mail to City of Hamburg seeking information about the 'pending lawsuit' against the City of Hamburg and asked if the City had been formally 'served' with a civil lawsuit and requested a copy of the lawsuit if, in fact, the City had been served.
Later that same day of my request, I received an Official City E-mail from Gruenhagen stating, "Since the City is involved in a pending litigation I will need to confer with our ('by contract' from the Waconia based law firm of MELCHERT, HUBERT and SJODIN) attorney. Once I hear back from them, I will provide you with the information that is available to the public."
Now, by his actions and words, Gruenhagen has now involved the 'contract City Attorney'; an attorney supplied by the Waconia based law firm of MELCHERT, HUBERT and SJODIN in what is about to 'play out' over the next several months.
Six days later, on October 21, 2019 HAMBURG CITY CLERK/TREASURER sent me an Official City E-mail stating, "Since the pleadings have been filed, you can get them from the Carver County Court Administrator". Gruenhagen's e-mail continues, "The City has been served with pleadings, and this matter is ongoing."
But, in fact, and according to the Carver County District Court, the 'pleadings' had NOT been 'filed', and GRUENHAGEN KNEW THAT !!
The DECEIT, DECEPTION, DISHONESTY, COVER-UP' and WITHOLDING PUBLIC INFORMATION, from taxpayers by HAMBURG CITY CLERK/TREASURER JEREMY GRUENHAGEN, begins. What took place is VERY CLEAR: GRUENHAGEN LIED, he GOT 'CAUGHT' and then the OTHER CITY OFFICIALS, who knew, or should have known, what was taking place; FAILED TO TAKE ANY ACTION; THEY, too, all GOT 'CAUGHT' !! Doesn't that make the ENTIRE CITY COUNCIL 'ACCOMPLICES' ??
LYING, DECEIT, DECEPTION and DISHONESTY BY PUBLIC OFFICIALS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE !! CITIZENS SHOULD NOT BE EXPECTED TO, and WILL NOT ACCEPT, PUBLIC OFFICIALS WHO ARE DISHONEST. PERIOD !!
Gruenhagen's INTENTIONAL, FABRICATED, FALSE and DECEPTIVE statement was later INDEPENDENTLY VERIFIED by the CARVER COUNTY DISTRICT COURT, NUMEROUS TIMES, to be a UNTRUE and FALSE STATEMENT. Gruenhagen would later IMPEACH HIS OWN CHARACTER, HONESTY AND CREDIBILITY by later INDICATING PUBLICLY that he KNEW that the civil lawsuit against the city of Hamburg had NOT been 'filed' with the (Carver County District) Court Administrator'; as he had FALSELY and FRAUDULENTLY stated in his October 21, 2019 e-mail.
As evidenced by documents and other information already submitted,
HAMBURG CITY CLERK/TREASURER JEREMY GRUENHAGEN, a PUBLIC OFFICER of the CITY OF HAMBURG
is accused of violating
MINNESOTA STATUE 609.43 - MISCONDUCT OF PUBLIC OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE
by committing the following offenses:
(Count 1) KNOWINGLY, and INTENTIONALLY, FABRICATED an OFFICIAL CITY DOCUMENT, which
(Count 2) KNOWINGLY and INTENTIONALLY contained FALSE, FABRICATED, and FRAUDULENT information that he KNEW TO BE FALSE and FABRICATED, and
(Count 3) PREVENTING and REFUSING a taxpaying City resident, from RECEIVING PUBLIC INFORMATION; Public Information to which taxpaying City residents are
ENTITLED TO RECEIVE, and
(Count 4) When questioned regarding the existence of the requested information, INTENTIONALLY and with MALACE LIED to a taxpaying City resident who is entitled to
know the information that was requested from the City of Hamburg, the status and whereabouts of the information requested; thereby violating the Hamburg City
Clerk/Treasurer's Oath of Office.
As this Webpage is UNDER CONSTRUCTION, PLEASE CHECK BACK LATER for additional information and details about WHAT ELSE TOOK PLACE as the result of the actions of the PUBLIC OFFICERS of the City of Hamburg. You'll learn and much more information and details about HOW the REFUSAL of CARVER COUNTY ATTORNEY MARK METZ, and other PUBLIC OFFICIALS to fully employ the 'system' designed to PROTECT THE PUBLIC, DETECT, BRING TO JUSTICE AND HOLD ACCOUNTABLE, those LAWYERS and other PUBLIC OFFICERS who violate the law (and the PUBLIC TRUST), FAILED MISERABLY !!