The city of Bastrop's ethics commission unanimously voted to issue Mayor Lyle Nelson a letter of reprimand, the highest sanction for an elected official, at the ethics commission meeting on April 10.

Based on relevant and admissible evidence, the board found Nelson interfered in the Visit Bastrop investigation by lying and withholding information relevant to the investigation.

It was within the board’s power to recommend Nelson’s removal from the Bastrop Economic Development Corporation, but they only chose to publicly reprimand the mayor.

What took place

Directed by council, Mayor Pro Tem John Kirkland filed an ethics complaint against Nelson on Jan. 18 for his alleged interference in the Visit Bastrop investigation. The committee heard Kirkland’s testimony and reviewed the submitted evidence at the April 10 meeting.

Prior to the mayor’s interview with investigator Sarah Glaser of Lloyd Gosselink Attorneys at Law, he had completed his seventh yearly ethics training. The defense conceded the interference was intentional but argued it was not wrongful as part of his right to privacy.