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Published: Tuesday, 4/5/2011

Maumee council votes to file ethical allegations with state over mayor

Maumee Mayor Tim Wagener Maumee Mayor Tim Wagener
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Allegations of ethical violations will be filed with the Ohio Ethics Commission against Mayor Tim Wagener who took loans from a city employee, Maumee Council decided Tuesday night during a special session at city hall.

The unanimous vote followed the release of findings from an internal investigation conducted after council learned late last year that the mayor, although advised that such conduct was improper, had borrowed money from the city employee repeatedly since 2006.

When Mr. Wagener made the matter public in a letter to the community late last week, he said he borrowed money from the employee, who is also a friend, when he was experiencing financial troubles.

In a statement Tuesday, Mr. Wagener explained he would not attend the special meeting because he had “not had any opportunity to review any documents of the interviews conducted, or to question witnesses. As many of you know, the very matter that City Council is discussing tonight I have already taken the unprecedented action of referring this matter regarding my own actions to the Ohio Ethics Commission one week ago. The matter was accepted by them as a request for an investigation and review and was accepted by the non-partisan commission. I am hopeful that after tonight’s meeting, the investigation by City Council that started last October when I was recovering from a stroke, will conclude and we can again focus on other issues.

"The proper action is that I reserve additional comments for the Ethics Commission and stand behind my letter to the community of last week.”

Although the city employee has not been formally identified, Mr. Wagener lists “L.M. Wilker” as a creditor on financial reports submitted to the ethics commission. Linda Wilker is Maumee’s acting finance director. She was absent from the meeting; she has been off work for medical reasons in recent days.

Loans to the mayor totaled $3,400, and the money was repaid after the city’s investigation began, officials said.

Mr. Wagener plans to seek re-election in November. Mayor for 12 years, he has faced opposition only in 1999.

Among those voting to file the complaint against Mr. Wagener was Councilman Timothy Pauken who has taken out petitions to run for mayor. He is brother of former Maumee mayor Steve Pauken.

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