Dallas Ethics Commission Clears City Council Member Philip Kingston of Wrongdoing in Zoning Case

The city’s Ethics Advisory Commission on Tuesday unanimously cleared Dallas City Council member Philip Kingston of wrongdoing after a hearing on accusations that he benefited from a zoning change he pushed in his East Dallas neighborhood.The ruling came as Kingston is facing a difficult re-election battle.Two complaints — one made anonymously through the City Auditor’s office and another through the city secretary’s office by Junius Heights resident Dale Coonrod — targeted the three-term council member’s support of overlay in the Belmont Addition Conservation District that allowed accessory dwelling units, also known as granny flats or mother-in-law suites. After the council approved the zoning change’s Jan. 9, Kingston began to build an ADU for his own home.Both complaints cited Chapter 12A-3 of the city code, which states that a “city official or employee shall not take any official action that the city official or employee knows is likely to affect particularly the economic interests” of that party or his relations.A preliminary advisory panel in April allowed the anonymous complaint to move forward. But after a three-and-a-half hour evidentiary hearing Tuesday, commission members said the arguments assailing Kingston fell flat.  Continue reading...

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