The notion here being that no matter what sorts of shenanigans someone has recently been involved in, the fact that this person had done some past volunteer work for the city would somehow wash away all of his guilt.
A corollary here would be that criticizing someone who has done such volunteer work, whether related to the particular topic under consideration or not, somehow makes you ungrateful. Even if the topic being examined has nothing to do with that work.
As an example, the following exchange posted to Friday's Henry A. Darling home article took place late last night.
So I guess the question would be does having done volunteer work for the city get you a "Get Out Of Jail Free" card? Useful should you do something later that is not quite above board, and you need to be forgiven and loved?
Enjoy your Easter Sunday.