Coeur d’Alene City Council candidate Adam Graves said Thursday that his opponent’s claim that Graves is “out to get his family” is “pure political posturing in pursuit of the sympathy vote.”
Graves is challenging 40-plus-year incumbent Ron Edinger, who said Wednesday that “individuals” were attacking his family because they had no issue with which to discredit him.
City Attorney Mike Gridley said Wednesday that following Graves’ inquiry about Edinger’s daughter’s city employment, he investigated further and discovered three of Edinger’s grandsons had been hired by the city in violation of state nepotism laws. The grandsons’ employment subsequently was terminated last week. The daughter’s job is grandfathered in under the 1990 nepotism law.
Graves said in a news release that he called city Finance Director Troy Tymesen to inquire about pay increase percentages for city employees. He said he then asked whether Edinger should have recused himself from voting for a budget that included a wage increase for his daughter.
“It appeared to me a clear conflict of interest to vote on a wage increase to your own daughter,” Graves said in a statement Thursday. He said he was told Edinger had been permitted to vote on the budget.
Tymesen said the wage increase for Edinger’s daughter was one line item in a multimillion-dollar budget.
Graves, who didn’t return a phone call seeking comment Wednesday, said he didn’t know until he read news websites that day about the additional actions taken by city officials following his inquiries. He said he didn’t know Edinger’s grandsons worked for the city.