Councilman Sal DiCiccio Makes Call for Lobbying, Ethical Reforms Despite His Lobbyist Ties and Campaign Irregularities
Can someone get Councilman Sal DiCiccio a towel?
The District 6 representative is dripping in irony after his latest call for "significant reforms" at Phoenix City Hall, including "ending lobbyist nepotism and implementing policies to end personal ties between elected officials and their staffs."
Perhaps DiCiccio forgot about his own very close "personal ties" with union-boss-turned-lobbyist Billy Shields, with Shields' wife, Lora Villasenor, and with Shields' brother-in-law, Joe Villasenor?
Aside from his ironic bluster, there appear to be irregularities in DiCiccio's campaign, including that one of his city council aides is coordinating with a Phoenix-area Tea Party to pepper District 6 neighborhoods with pro-DiCiccio literature.
DiCiccio hasn't yet returned calls for comment.
DiCiccio, who is a vocal critic of unions these days, doesn't mention that former firefighter union boss Billy Shields worked hard behind the scenes to get him appointed to the Phoenix City Council when then-District 6 Councilman Greg Stanton left office to take a job with the Attorney General's Office.
And DiCiccio hired Lora Villasenor as his top aide during his first stint on the council back in the mid-1990s. She also worked on his 2009 election campaign when ran to hang on to the District 6 seat he'd been appointed to.
Joe Villasenor, Billy Shields' brother-in-law, is a director of Citizens Protecting Tax Payers, an Arizona corporation that DiCiccio formed in 2011. And Villasenor was still onboard when the paperwork was last updated in January.
And though DiCiccio is blustering about ethical reforms, the corporation he created has come under fire because he transferred to it all the campaign contributions -- more than $120,000 -- he'd raise to fend off a recall election against him.
That recall election never went anywhere, but it didn't stop DiCiccio from reaching out to corporate giants in Phoenix and pocketing pretty significant donations.