City officials are rejecting a call from leaders of the San Antonio Professional Firefighters Association, who are demanding an ethics investigation into City Manager Sheryl Sculley, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
The union clams Sculley went to the San Antonio International Airport and urged employees to vote against the three propositions it has placed on the ballot in next month's election.
"On October 12th of 2018 city manager Sheryl Sculley went to Hanger 4 of the San Antonio Airport and spoke against the three propositions on the November ballot," the Union said in a statement. "Sculley was there in her official capacity as a city manager and all employees present were on the city clock. This is a blatant violation of using city resources (Hanger 4) and doing this on city duty time."
The union also released an e-mail to Aviation Department employees from Aviation Director Russ Handy, in which he thanks employees for attending the meeting, and says 'as city employees it is especially important for us to understand proposals going before our fellow citizens for a vote, and its potential impact on our business.'
The union also released an e-mail to all city employees from City Attorney Andy Segovia in which he cautions them that it is a violation of the city ethics code to engage in political activity 'on city time or using any city resource.'
"Union executive board members are being threatened with discipline for even speaking of these propositions at fire stations," the union said. "Firefighters are being told they will be disciplined if they discuss these propositions at the station with union board members. At what point will all city employees be held to the same standards?"
Segovia, in a statement to 1200 WOAI news, said Sculley was not campaigning at that meeting at the Airport, she was simply 'sharing factual information.'
"The City Manager attended an Aviation employee appreciation breakfast on Friday, Oct. 12. Following her thanks to the staff, the Manager responded to a question from the audience and used factual material consistent with applicable law and City policy. There is no prohibition against sharing factual information. The City Manager stated that she could not and did not ask the employees to vote a particular way," he said.
In fact, the the e-mail distributed by the fire union, Segovia specifically says "Employees in the course of their duties for the City may provide factual information to members of the public regarding City elections."
The charter amendments, which would limit the pay and tenure of a future city manager and would make it far easier for citizens to call elections to overturn the actions of City Council, have become a very hot local issue in the weeks leading up to the November 6th election.