Posted by: Patricia Salkin | February 10, 2015

CA Fair Practices Commission Advises No Conflict of Interest for Commissioner Based on Ownership of Property Near Proposed Development

The City of Tustin issued a request for proposals on a development in the city’s downtown commercial area and the proposal may consist of a change to the Cultural Resources Overlay District (CRD). Commissioner Altowaiji owned a 20 percent interest in four condominiums located near the City’s CRD, and one of the condominiums was located within 500 feet of the proposal.

In deciding whether the commissioner had a conflict of interest due to his 20 percent interest of four condominiums, the California Fair Political Practices Commission found that the commissioner’s units were used as a business property, property used for commercial purposes were not analyzed under the 500-foot rule, and the effects of the proposal would only be considered material if the commission’s decision would result in a $20,000 increase or decrease in gross revenues, the decision would result in $5,000 worth of expenses and if the decision would result in an increase or decrease of $20,000 worth of assets or liabilities. In following these guidelines, the commission found that the market value of the Commissioner’s condominiums was not effected by the proposed development. The commission further found that the commissioner did not have a conflict of interest in the selection of a consultant, as it yielded no financial effects on the commissioner’s condominium units. For these reasons, the commission found that a conflict of interest did not exist.

M. Lois Bobak, CA FPPC Adv. A-14-065 (2014)

The advice letter can be accessed at:”bobak”

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