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La Crosse County Ethics Board: “No violation” in O’Malley social media post

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steve o'malley

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - The La Crosse County Ethics Board said that County Administrator Steve O'Malley did not violate the county's Code of Ethics in making a social media post.

La Crosse County Board Chair Monica Kruse released the opinion she received Thursday from the ethics board.

The board met to discuss comments made by O'Malley on Facebook regarding the death of radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh. The post said, "If I believed in hell, it would be the most deserving place for the likes of him. He never loved anything but hatred, racism, and disrespect."

When made public, the resulting backlash to the post led to Thursday's meeting of the ethics board to see if O'Malley violated the county's Code of Conduct.

Signed by Richard Kyte, the chair of the La Crosse County Ethics Board, it said, in full:

"At it's meeting in response to your request for an Advisory Opinion regarding the possible ethics violation of Steve O'Malley's social post of February 18, 2021, the La Crosse County Ethics Board finds that there was no violation of the Code of Ethics as it is currently written. The Code of Ethics covers behavior falling in three major categories: Fair and Equal Treatment, Conflicts of Interest, and Compliance with State Statutes. The specified behavior did not fall under any of those categories.

The role of the La Crosse County Ethics Board is not to comment on whether a county employee committed an error of judgment which does not fall explicitly under the provisions of the Code of Ethics."

O'Malley did not comment yesterday following the ethics board meeting.

The county board is expected to discuss the matter at its March 18 meeting.

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