Advisory Opinion No. 98-26

Re: Glenn W. Russell, Jr.


The Petitioner, a Board Member of the Portsmouth Planning Board, a municipal appointed position, requests an advisory opinion as to whether he may participate in discussions about or vote on a petition for Phase VI of an existing condominium development given that his mother owns a condominium unit in one of the completed phases of the development.


It is the opinion of the Rhode Island Ethics Commission that the Code of Ethics does not prohibit the Petitioner, a Board Member of the Portsmouth Planning Board (the "Board"), a municipal appointed position, from participating in discussions about and/or voting on the petition for Phase VI of a condominium development because there is no indication that the property owned by Petitioner's mother would be impacted financially by the Board's decision regarding Phase VI of the condominium development.

The Petitioner represents that his mother's condominium association is separate and distinct from the condominium association proposing and petitioning the Board for approval of Phase VI of the development, and that neither the Petitioner nor his mother will receive any direct financial or other benefit if the Board approves Phase VI. He states that the Board had approved all phases of development presented prior to his appointment to the Board. Thus, since the particular phase of development under consideration by the Board does not apply to Petitioner's mother's condominium, which is completely developed, and his mother will not receive any financial benefit from the development, the Petitioner's participation would not violate R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 36-14-5(a), 36-14-7(a) or 36-14-5(d).

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Family: Property Interest

Property Interest