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.