Elk Grove Council Member to Recuse Himself From Community Services Grants Deliberations

February 11, 2015 | UPDATED 12:35 p.m. Elk Grove City Council Member Steve Ly said he will recuse himself from deliberations on Community ...

February 11, 2015 | UPDATED 12:35 p.m.

Elk Grove City Council Member Steve Ly said he will recuse himself from deliberations on Community Service grants at tonight's regular city council meeting.

One of the non-governmental organizations the city staff has recommended being awarded a $7,000 grant is the Stockton-based Hmong International Culture Institute (HICI). According to the staff report, the grant will be used to fund a Saturday morning Hmong cultural and language program for low-income children being conducted in Elk Grove by the Txuj Ci Hmong School.
The Facebook profile picture for the Txuj Ci Hmong School
features Elk Grove City Council Member Steve Ly
(second from left). It is not known what, if any, role Ly 
has with the school. 

A review of the HICI website reveals its President is a person named Chy Vang. According to campaign finance documents filed with the Elk Grove City Clerk's office, a person named Chy Vang is listed as one of  Ly's campaign treasurers.

An organization named Txuj Ci Hmong School has a Facebook page that features a profile picture with several individuals, including Ly. It is not known what tax status Txuj Ci Hmong School currently has.

When asked via email about tonight's deliberations, Ly said, "I will recuse myself from any discussion or vote." 

Ly did not respond to inquiries regarding any role he may have with the Txuj Ci Hmong School or if the Chy Vang listed as one of his campaign treasurers and on the Hmong International Culture Institute were the same person. Calls to the HICI seeking clarification were not returned, and Vang's phone number and Elk Grove street address were redacted from Ly's campaign disclosures.

Additionally, Ly listed he received between $1,001 and $10,000 in consulting fees from the HICI in 2014 on his economic interest disclosures filed with the Elk Grove City Clerk's office.

The council could deliberate the HICI matter as a stand-alone item thereby allowing Ly to deliberate on the other grant requests. Tonight's meeting starts at 6 p.m.

UPDATE - A person who identified himself as Wang, returned the call placed to the HICI, and according to him, the Chy Vang who serve's as that group's president is the same person who served as one of Ly's campaign treasurers.


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Laguna Pete said...

Ok, what's going on here?

Is the city declaring bankruptcy? Has the city council been found to have been spending tax funds on prostitutes?

The sky seems to be falling. I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Mayor Davis welcomes a competing coffee distributor to the city.

Councilman Suen is having a town hall meeting to find out what the citizens want.

Councilman Ly is recusing himself on matters he has an interest in.

Have good will and ethics been located in the vast desert known as city hall? Could it be?

Why now? It's not a campaign year.

Something smells.

It smells good, and it comes from city hall. That's why I'm worried.

Anonymous said...

Ethics in government should be at the forefront of everything the Elk Grove City Council and staff do.

Effective democracy depends on a government that is fair, ethical and accountable to the people it serves.

There should be no pats on the back for doing what should be natural!

Anonymous said...

The Activity Description is as follows: "Expand Hmong language and cultural programs by offering low-income scholarships, purchasing
curriculum and other teaching supplies, and offsetting facility rental costs."

It is my belief that the city should never single out one ethnic group over another. That being said and as stated elsewhere on this web site..."I see nothing about their capacity to carry out the project, quality of the project, understanding of the needs of the population to be served, plans for implementing the project, etc., etc."

Anonymous said...

The late Dean Smith to John Feinstein.

"John, you should never be proud of doing the right thing. You should just do the right thing."

Lt. Dan said...

That quote should be posted in huge letters across the back of the hall chambers so that all council can read and ponder it before every decision.

Grasshopper said...

Confucius say "quid pro quo"

Anonymous said...

EGN says...."It is not known what tax status Txuj Ci Hmong School currently has."

That was/is a question that should have been asked by the city when reviewing the applicant or application.

Just Askin' said...

Can the EG homeless and hungry drop in on this Saturday morning cultural class? Can the chicks in crisis drop in and attend? Can the working poor barely able to afford a place to live drop in on this class too? Can the elderly and disabled without cars and needing transporation to doctor appts whihc are no longer being provided by e-tran attend too?

This thing stinks and smells like payoff!

Anonymous said...

Apparently the Hmong International Culture Institute (HICI) applied for the grant on behalf of the Txuj Ci Hmong School. HICI is a 501(c)3 charity; but there is no record of the school on the CA Attorney General’s website.

Here is a link to their application.

Anonymous said...

Kinda odd...
Has this school applied for EG grants in the past?
If this is the first year, how did they wind up in the final running?
If they've applied in the past, what motivated the city to recommend them this time?
Assuming it's all above board, is Councilman Ly insensitive to the optics?
The whole issue smacks of quid pro quo.
I'm supportive of an independent commission to rack and stack these in the future... this is just incredible.

Anonymous said...

NO Just Askin', but they can purchase their homeschool curriculum. I wonder...is that tax free?

Anonymous said...

True Anon. 14:51 Does appears to be an Activity at Txuj Ci Hmong School within the Hmong International
Cultural Institute and there is no record of the school...not even a permanent location. Much worse than I first thought...

Anonymous said...

You have to give our council credit for being transparent. The community grant for the Hmong school is out and out political payoff. Wow, a cultural heritage language school no less. Such inappropriate funding. Are we going to fund every ethnic/cultural group in this diverse city? And Mr. Davis was almost salivating, so eager was he to up the ante to this particular group by an additional $12,000. $10,000 was not nearly enough. Forget all the other applicants. This was the only group applying that he felt needed a grant larger than what was proposed. Not the food bank, not Chicks in Crisis—the hungry and the desperate aren't worth going after as a voting block. No need in Elk Grove to even try to hide your political payoffs. It's not necessary.

Anonymous said...

That was the worst case of political pandering I have ever witnessed. Shame on Gary Davis!

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