Expect the Unexpected.

Mr. Expect the Unexpected was still trying to get his mind around that short, unbylined story in the May 5 Chronicle, "Man, woman, serpent killed in fiery collision," when the realization dawned: Yes, Houston is a diverse, cosmopolitan and international city, where you never know what might be heading your way up the freeway.

And because we are so cosmopolitan, we just expect that our elected officials will follow the most routine of laws, such as the ones requiring that they periodically disclose who has given them campaign money and how they've spent it. So, much like the three-foot ball python that met his or her untimely demise on the Southwest Freeway, we were shocked to learn that it's been almost a year since City Councilman Michael Yarbrough bothered to file a campaign finance disclosure report with the city secretary's office. Not only has the District B councilman failed to submit his report that was due on January 15, he has yet to file the one that was supposed to be in by July 15 of last year.

Yarbrough didn't return Mr. Unexpected's call this week, but last year, in explaining to the Press's Tim Fleck why he hadn't filed his January 15, 1996 report until June 10, Yarbrough deemed his failure to submit timely reports "no big thing."

Perhaps, but it's also a violation of the state's election code. We understand that the councilman may soon be facing more pressing problems, but residents of this diverse, cosmopolitan and international city who expect their elected officials to follow the law can always contact the Texas Ethics Commission (1-800-325-8506), where they investigate sworn complaints by even non-cosmopolitan types.

They may be expecting your call.


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