Each revelation of skeletons in a politician’s closet shakes us up. But it is waiting for answers — with little or no prospect of learning the entire truth — that is perhaps most frustrating. Because, quite often, the public’s need for and right to answers, conflicts with the politician’s legal situation.
Such is the case with Tom Grady, a Marysville City Council election winner. News that Grady might face felony charges connected to his former job as manager of the Marysville Albertson’s stunned and disappointed many, including this board which endorsed Grady. Guilt and innocence aside, there are questions that need to be answered sooner rather than later.
First, how does a person who had allegedly admitted in a letter to his former employer that he doctored records to cover up for the disappearance of $38,000, turn around and decide to run for city council? Again, guilt and innocence aside, one would have to suspect that such accounting discrepancies would eventually be discovered and made public. Why not clear up the matter first and explore political options later? One can’t help but wonder what rationalization process is used to make such a decision.
The Marysville City Council is hardly a stranger to controversy. In fact, it was that air of bitterness and contention that many voters and campaigners were trying to end. In an editorial board meeting this fall with Marysville candidates, Grady said he decided to run because of the divisive split on the current board and because some members didn’t have the necessary business skills. He said he was also encouraged to run by people he met while working at the grocery store. Those are ironic words now and leave us questioning how an already-fractured city council can recover from this most recent incident, not to mention how the council will be able to rebuild public trust. Grady said he wanted to help end the divisive split, but his current legal woes threaten to further divide not only the council but the entire city.
Grady’s reluctance to explain things now is understandable legally, but it doesn’t serve the citizens he wants to represent. If Grady intends to fill this term, he must answer questions now. He cannot expect the public to feel sorry for him or sympathize with his apparent decision to delay answering questions in light of legal concerns.
Whether or not Grady is guilty of any wrongdoing, it is fair to say the voters did not have enough accurate information about him to make an informed decision. And more than three weeks after the election, they still don’t.