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TMCNet:  EDITORIAL: Now it's Kasper who can come clean

[September 14, 2012]

EDITORIAL: Now it's Kasper who can come clean

Sep 14, 2012 (Duluth News Tribune - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- He's not up for election or re-election this fall, but Duluth School Board member Tom Kasper finds himself suddenly embroiled in controversy, not unlike a troublingly growing number of Duluth-area elected leaders and public office-seekers.


So, once again, a public official, someone supported and trusted by the community and someone who can expect to be held to a higher standard of conduct and a stricter level of scrutiny, owes constituents and the community an explanation.

Just why is Kasper, the building and grounds supervisor for the city of Duluth, apparently being disciplined by his employers He's off for the month of September, he said on his Facebook page. And the city "has data regarding the existence and status of complaints and charges (against) Kasper," as the News Tribune's Peter Passi reported yesterday. Assistant City Attorney Steven Hanke told Passi the nature of the complaints and charges can't be released until the disciplinary action is completed.

Kasper, so far, has been disappointingly mum. He didn't return phone calls from Passi on Wednesday. And he didn't return a phone message or Facebook message from the News Tribune Opinion page on Thursday.

Whatever it was that Kasper did, or didn't do, likely will be made public in due time. And that'll be good, even if it'd be better for everyone involved to hear it directly from Kasper. Because, as with Carlton County Attorney Thom Pertler ("Carlton County attorney pleads guilty to DWI," Sept. 12), state Rep. Kerry Gauthier, DFL-Duluth ("Police investigate Gauthier in rest stop incident," Aug. 15), and Minnesota House candidate Erik Simonson ("Daughter of Minnesota House candidate says he abandoned her," Sept. 5), the public, including Kasper's supporters and constituents, has a right know.

And elected leaders have an obligation to come clean, to be forthright and to take responsibility when necessary.

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