Almanac

News - July 14, 2010

Foust conflict-of-interest investigation opens

by Sandy Brundage

A state ethics commission will investigate a complaint filed in June against Redwood City council member Rosanne Foust over her refusal to recuse herself from council discussions regarding the Cargill Saltworks project while also working as chief executive officer for a business association that endorsed the project.

The controversy centers on Ms. Foust's employment as chief executive of the San Mateo County Economic Development Association. However, she does not sit on the SAMCEDA board, which she has said was solely responsible for the endorsement.

Ms. Foust sounded confident that the Fair Political Practices Commission would rule in her favor, saying she did not believe she had violated the rules after consulting with the Redwood City attorney's office.

Menlo Park council member Andy Cohen filed the sworn complaint in June. A letter dated July 1 from Fair Political Practices Commission Executive Director Roman Porter stated the commission will investigate the allegations, but has not yet determined that the allegations are valid or that Ms. Foust is culpable.

"Even the appearance of a conflict is what I was taught should warrant recusal," said Mr. Cohen. "Here Ms. Foust has acknowledged SAMCEDA's advocacy for the project, so her attempted disclaimer based on not having participated in SAMCEDA's deliberations would appear to me to move any involvement as a council member beyond mere appearance of conflict."

Comments

There are no comments yet for this post

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Choose a category: *

Since this is the first comment on this story a new topic will also be started in Town Square! Please choose a category that best describes this story.

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields