Conflict of Interest and the Appearance of Such. Day Two; NaBloPoMo

Kind of an aside from my usual family friendly blog posts here today because I really want your opinion of a situation. Typically I keep politics on and dirty diapers here on StaceyRobinsmith dot com but today the worlds are colliding.

Here is the situation; a candidate in a municipal election accepts a donation from an individual. Not a large donation, just over $100. The candidate wins the election. Yippee.

Post-election the candidate, now a trustee, who claims to know a thing or two about how leases are negotiated, takes part in a lease negotiation with another community organization. One of the negotiators for the community organization is the individual who donated money to the election campaign.

Now sitting across the table from the elected official is the individual who donated money.

If I was the one who received the donation I would see it fit for me to recuse myself from the negotiations.

There may or may not be a conflict of interest but the fact is, there is the appearance of a conflict of interest. Why would you not choose to step away from the negotiations? The fact that he did not makes it look even more suspicious.

Make no mistake, I do not know if there was a conflict of interest but there was certainly the appearance of one. To maintain the integrity of both organizations I really beleive that the the elected official would have stepped away from the negotiating table.

What are your thoughts? And the title? I will explain later. Or you can google it.

1 Comment

  1. I would be interested to see some other comments here. For my part, it doesn’t concern me. Very much like the foofaraw generated when a school trustee who has a family member who is a teacher weighs in on an issue that affects teachers. Seriously? If a spouse, father, sister, child of a teacher is perceived to be in a conflict of interest when certain issues (especially pecuniary ones) are discussed or decided I would suggest that nominations for school trustee be closed to relatives of teachers.

    Sure, there are conflicts of interest and moments where it could “look bad” for politicians and everyone should be aware and ethical. My stance is that if they have been elected and sworn to serve the people I will, for the most part, trust their judgement and the judgement of those with whom they serve to navigate the waters that are not clearly covered in conflict of interest guidelines.

    Definitely out of step with the “Voice” of New Westminster. Although, they may be changing their tune ….

Comments are closed.