City Council Member Lisa Sánchez had a dust-up with the Hispanic Cultural Center of Idaho over a portrait of herself earlier this year, but both parties now say the matter is resolved.
On March 7, the Hispanic Cultural Center and longtime Treasure Valley Latina artist Alma Gomez each filed inquiries with the City of Boise’s Ethics Commission alleging Sánchez violated city ethics codes by refusing to return a portrait of herself loaned to her for a campaign event. The two separate inquiry requests argued Sánchez violated city ethics codes by using her official position to gain access to the financial value of the painting.
These arguments didn’t hold water with the ethics commission, though. In an opinion posted on the City of Boise’s website, the board dismissed both complaints, writing it’s “not within the commission’s purview to determine the right to possession of non-city property.”
“To the extent it is alleged that Sánchez obtained financial gain by retention of the painting past the original terms of the loan, again, there is no basis to conclude that Sánchez used her official position or office to retain possession of the painting,” the report said. “Instead, both inquiries allege that Sánchez asserted a right to obtain possession independent of her status as a city official.”
Both Sánchez and a receptionist at the Hispanic Cultural Center told BoiseDev the matter is “resolved.” Sanchez told BoiseDev she came to an agreement with the Hispanic Cultural Center and she now owns the painting. Gomez could not be reached for comment.