Saturday, August 23, 2014

Fredd Adams Back After Felony Conviction

San Angelo's City Council appointed Fredd B. Adams II to the Zoning Board of Adjustments.  The unanimous vote came with no discussion.  Citizens may recall Adams third degree felony conviction in January 2013, where he plead guilty to his third driving while intoxicated (DWI) offense.  The Standard Times reported:

Adams was sentenced to seven years in prison, but the sentence was suspended. He was placed on probation for seven years, fined $1,500, given 160 hours of community service, and sentenced to 10 days in jail as a condition of his community supervision. Woodward read out the conditions of probation: 
  • Adams will be allowed only restricted travel outside the state. 
  • He will pay a $60 monthly community service support fee starting in March. 
  • He will pay or make arrangements to pay his fine plus a Crime Stoppers fee, court costs and a DNA fee. 
  • He is prohibited from committing other offenses, possessing or consuming narcotics or illegal drugs except under a doctor's prescription, going to bars, consuming alcohol or associating with other felons. 
  • He will meet with a probation officer once per month, take a DWI intervention program, and attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings twice per week. 
  •  He will perform 160 hours of community service at a minimum rate of 10 hours per month. 
  • He is prohibited from driving, and his license is suspended for two years. 
  • He is on curfew every day from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., with exceptions possible that involve his work as a funeral home director.
One might have expected Fredd to be there in person to talk about his actions since his conviction, how he's made restitution and wishes to contribute to the community again.  He did not.  No one spoke to Fredd's public arrest/conviction or his compliance with court imposed conditions of probation.

To be a San Angelo firefighter a candidate must be "of good moral character with temperate habits.  Applicants with a felony conviction will not be accepted under state laws."

The application Fredd completed states in small print at the bottom:

If you been convicted of a MISDEMEANOR or FELONY, and/or placed on probation, fined or given a suspended sentence such as pretrial diversion or deferred adjudication in court within the last ten years, disclosure of such should be forwarded under separate cover. For a complete copy of the Code of Ethics, contact the City Clerk at 657-4405. 

Did Adams complete the required disclosure?  If so, why was this information withheld from the public?  City Council ordinances state:

It is the responsibility of council members to publicly share substantive information that is relevant to a matter under consideration that they have received from sources outside of the public decision- making process with all other council members and the public prior to taking action on the matter. 
City Councilman Fredd Adams resigned in a firestorm seventeen months ago.  He returned to public service as a member of the Zoning Board with no discussion on what happened since and what makes him an ideal candidate today.

The public deserves to know the "method behind the City's madness," a phrase used several times by Public Information Officer Anthony Wilson as to why and how the city does what it does.

Citizen Jim Turner, also a member of the Zoning Board of Adjustments, cited the city's moves to share less information on several fronts as it purports to be more open with the public.  The information void on the reappointment of Fredd Adams to public service may or may not fit into this category, however I expected some discussion on Fredd's arc since his precipitous fall.  Council and staff failed to address the elephant in the room.  There's no denying that.

1 comment:

TheSkeptic said...

I guess this is fitting.

Our local government officials tend to act like a bunch of criminals anyway, they might as well start recruting from the ranks of convicts...