our first story, we looked at a letter from Supv. Michael
Antonovich, denying Altadena Town Councilman Herbert Simmons' claim
that there was a "confirmed business sponsorship" with Simmons' student
and teacher of the month awards. In our second story, PUSD
Superintendent Edwin Diaz wrote that Simmons incorrectly represented
to him that the programs were backed by the Altadena Town Council, and
used a town council letterhead in his written correspondence.
Simmons has consistently denied linking his programs to his position as a councilman. To cite his Aug. 14 email to his mailing list:
On Aug. 6, Simmons sent a letter to "Dear Altadena Principals" to finalize participation in his programs. It was this letter that drew the ire of Supv. Antonovich with its incorrect claim that the supervisor had a "confirmed business sponsorship" with the program.
But, in addition to claiming a nonexistent sponsorship, Simmons makes no direct statement in the letter that these programs are his own personal projects -- the "disclaimer stating that they are solely of my individual initiative" that he touted in his Aug. 14 email defending his actions. On the contrary, Mr. Simmons' town council membership is prominent in the letterhead, and the programs are called "one of my first projects," in the same sentence as he trumpets his election.
He closes the letter by announcing the official introduction of his programs in "an informal Town Meeting and Celebration ..." to take place in the community center.
Simmons appears to be correct in that he may not be using official town council letterhead -- but he is using a letterhead that identifies him as a council member to promote his personal programs. He also doesn't explicitly link his programs to the town council in the body of the letter-- but he does identify himself as a councilman in the first paragraph as well as the letterhead, and calls his public introduction of the programs a "town meeting" in the same chamber where the council meets, and nowhere makes a clear distinction that he is acting as a private citizen.
A copy of the letter appears after the jump.