Tuesday, 30 January 2018 23:10

Ethics panel clears city councilor after conflict complaint Featured

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BANGOR - In a rarely seen move, the Bangor Ethics Committee met Tuesday evening in the council chamber.

Nearly every week, Cary Weston leads discussions on city issues from the same room, but this time found himself under the spotlight for different reasons.

 

Last summer, the council learned Weston's firm, Sutherland Weston Marketing Communications, had been paid for services from the Convention and Visitor's Bureau, which is funded by the city.

 

Weston then, without disclosing this conflict, took part in meetings that impacted the CVB's funding.

 

For a breakdown:

 

          - On June 26, Weston took part in a vote on the city's $97 million budget. The visitor's bureau received funding from that budget. Weston says he later informed his peers that his business partner organized the deal.

          - In the July 27 meeting, the council voted that Weston did indeed have a conflict of interest, and he was sent out of the room while the others dealt with CVB business.

          - Then, on January 8, the council voted 7-2 to have the ethics committee investigate.

 

The all-volunteer committee painstakingly reviewed important council meeting videos and minutes Tuesday, and then Weston was invited into the meeting to say his piece. He told the panel his business relationship with the CVB was a one-time thing.

 

"Much like a product that you buy," Weston said. "Once you purchase - once the scope of the project is complete - there is no residual ongoing monies owed to the firm."

 

In the end, whether through examination, Weston's comments, or a combination of the two, the panel recommended the city council take no action against him.

 

The council meets next on February 12.

 

 

 

David Guildford

Weekend Anchor/Reporter
[email protected]

David joined the news team in March of 2017. First and foremost he is a proud Mainer. Before reporting for ABC7 and FOX22, he interned at WLBZ2 in Bangor, and attended the University of Maine's journalism program.

David was raised in the western Maine foothills, and has been a lifelong viewer of local Maine news. He hopes to bring this perspective to telling the stories of folks in the community.

When not on the job, David enjoys skiing, snowmobiling, spending time at the family camp on Branch Lake, and playing slow-pitch softball with the other Bangor gym class heroes.