Maitland leaders discuss conduct ordinance for council members



MAITLAND, Fla. - Maitland city leaders are trying to create a code of conduct for themselves after the former vice mayor showed up on the client list of a busted Orange County brothel in 2012.

Mayor Howard Schieferdecker said the city has healed from the problems with former vice mayor Phil Bonus, but they wanted clearer guidelines for citizens who may want to recall a council member in the future.

An Eyewitness News investigation uncovered his name on a client list of a brothel that was operating out of an Orange County home.

WFTV also learned he was arrested a year earlier after refusing a Breathalyzer test in Tampa, while losing his balance over and over again during a traffic stop.

“We wanted to have a code of conduct because the council really has no teeth in this,” said Schieferdecker.

Bonus eventually resigned, but there were rumblings of a citizen’s recall.

The proposed ordinance lays out moral and ethical guidelines for council members to follow.

While the council had considered penalties for members who go against the rules within the ordinance, those have been taken out because city leaders were concerned that might open the door for in-fighting, or a witch hunt, on the council.

The code of conduct is now geared toward giving citizens guidelines for recalling an elected official if something like Bonus’ situation happens again.

Councilmembers approved the first reading of the ordinance unanimously.

There will be public comment and a final vote next month.

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