Mayor Jerry Sanders looks to his ethics director JoAnne SawyerKnoll as they brief the media on the Sunroad report. Photo: Sam Hodgson

Sunroad executive Tom Story’s attorney told the city’s ethics chief last week that the recent report into the company’s controversial 12-story office building was inaccurate in its treatment of Story and that the conclusions should be changed to clear his name.

In a July 31 letter, Story attorney Pamela Naughton said the investigation conducted by the mayor’s Office of Ethics & Integrity misinterpreted the lobbying law that the probe said Story broke. Similar to City Attorney Mike Aguirre, the report claims Story began lobbying the city less than one year after he left his position as former Mayor Dick Murphy’s chief of staff, a violation of the city’s rules.

Naughton told JoAnne SawyerKnoll, the mayor’s ethics director and the report‘s author, that the investigation’s conclusions jeopardize the prosecution of Story that Aguirre is trying to pursue (the City Attorney’s Office was kicked off the case in May and an appeal is pending).

Naughton wrote:

Your inaccurate and irresponsible report has resulted in substantial harm to Mr. Story. Moreover, by making these “findings,” you have inserted your office into an ongoing criminal action. Given the high publicity of this case, it will be nearly impossible for Mr. Story to receive a fair trial. Undoubtedly, your actions have improperly influenced the jury pool, further exacerbating the harm to Mr. Story. I demand you take immediate public action to correct these erroneous findings before any more harm to my client is done.

SawyerKnoll hasn’t yet responded to our phone call seeking comment.


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