Those of you who have been reading my Kitchen Cabinet for some time already know that I’ve been talking about this issue for going on two years now. It began when whistleblowers within the state Department of Corrections revealed to me that DOC Communications and Outreach Director Belinda Stewart was repeatedly violating state ethics law with the complicity of her superiors. I filed ethics charges against Stewart in March of 2011, and (over a year later) she was eventually found “likely to be guilty of those violations.” She was subsequently promoted by acting DOC Secretary Bernie Warner prior to the state Executive Ethics Board’s final hearing.
Prior to filing ethics charges, I told then-Secretary Eldon Vail that I intended to file against Stewart (that was in February of 2011). In March he signed a “memorandum of understanding” for Belinda stating that what she was doing was sanctioned, and only a few days later I formally filed the charges.
In early January of this year, Belinda Stewart had a two-day final hearing to determine if she was guilty of violating state ethics law, and how much – if any – she should be penalized for it. You may be interested to know that I was actually subpoenaed for questioning in December about what I knew regarding Belinda Stewart. During the questioning, this Kitchen Cabinet e-newsletter was brought up several times…which is an indication that you, as subscribers, are often getting information that can’t be found anyplace else.