I am searching for any civil cases in which the plaintiff has filed a civil complaint alleging trespassing against the private party. I want to see any civil cases in which the plaintiff has filed multiple counts of fraud against another person. I want to see any legal action in which the plaintiff has filed a civil case alleging the defendant has committed a criminal offense. I came across the document above when I believe Lee County Detective Bob Conlee was attempting to set me up for a drug bust. If you would review Lee County Attorney Michael Short . Short advised me that “he” would decide who gets prosecuted in Lee County, Iowa. He wasn’t kidding he was willing and did everything needed to protect Mark Conlee in his unprecedented illegal actions against his neighbor.
Most of you have the common knowledge of the laws and rules a Sheriff has the duty to provide to the citizens in their County described below. I am still waiting for the results of an investigation into my allegations as stated by then County Attorney Mike Short and current Lee County Sheriff Stacy Weber. Weber has a conflict of interest that is next to none according to the record. He certainly learned from the best of the best as former County Detective Bob Conlee is described as his mentor. His reason for getting into law enforcement as a career choice.
Working with Federal and State Legislatures to create laws providing safer communities
The SHERIFF is the only elected Law Enforcement Officer in the State of Iowa.
THE DUTIES OF SHERIFF INCLUDE:
- Execution and return of all legal civil papers
- Enforce the law of the State of Iowa
- Enforce County Ordinances
- Conduct criminal investigations
- Provide Law Enforcement services to the Judicial Court System
- Supervise all jails and the custody of incarcerated offenders
- Maintain the Sex Offender Registry
- Patrol all areas of the county
- Respond to any and all disasters within the county
- Assist other Law Enforcement agencies
- Sustain Iowa VINE for Victims
Mr. Short failed the citizens of Lee County to a serious degree beginning in filing two criminal complaints against me on behalf of his number one colleague Detective Bob Conlee and his brother, Mark Conlee. The complaints were clearly frivolous and fabricated. There is no existing law against giving the middle finger to another person.
This is an example of the standard procedure followed in any action in this “criminal” case. There was no local government official willing to honor their ethical oath. They were all completely devoted to Mark Conlee’s goal to acquire his goal. It was like they were hypnotized. I know full well that the County attorney should know what is a criminal violation and what is a fabricated law. Chief Shipman scratched out the last sentence as I advised him there was no law preventing a citizen from having two licensed, insured vehicles on their private property. Mark Conlee used his position as council member to push past any recognition of ethical standards. I feel like I have been raped by these public servants. I will never be the person I was prior to the physical assault by this gang.in their quest to acquire my property. No holds barred, they were intent on this goal. I was unable to assert my rights to save my life.
I had no protection of law enforcement to prevent my neighbor from applying roundup to my property against my wishes, this went on as if it were part of his maintenance routine for his yard, The effects were brutal, my health went from excellent to unable to function within the first years. I suffered through this for over five years, the neighbor did not let up on the unlawful application of the toxic chemicals for five years. My many pleas for law enforcement to protect my right by filing trespassing complaints against this psycho were ignored. This man actually sued me in civil court for “loss of enjoyment of his property”. That case was dismissed with the judge citing my right to enjoy my own property. I felt a sense of relief because my interpretation of that ruling meant for him to stop applying chemicals to my property. I couldn’t have been more wrong, even though there is no doubt in my mind that is what the judge was implying, Within a matter of months this neighbor along with the chief of police (acting as a witness) approached me in my yard to let me know in advance that the neighbor was going to physically invade my property and move some railroad ties that I had put in place to divert the initial problem which was a nuisance drainage issue resulting from the Illegal property redevelopment on the nonconforming lot he purchase from the mayor. The building permits could not have been and still are illegally issued by the city building officials. I following standard procedure requested the building official come to the location to discuss a remedy to the nuisance drainage issue that left my property with an uncontrollable flooding situation. Three of my undeveloped lots lost a value of over $10,000. The person who did show up misrepresenting himself to be an authority for the City building official was this neighbor’s brother, he was the highest ranking member of the County Sheriffs dept. He had no jurisdiction to act as an authority of any kind in the City of Montrose, Iowa, Not to mention that there is no doubt about an existing conflict of interest between this Sheriff’s officer and the neighbor due to the fact that they are blood brothers. With that and after the fact a different County deputy showed up at my house the reason told to me by the deputy that he was sent to my house due to concern by the County Attorney that there may be of a conflict of interest. I thought this may be legitimate and sat down with this officer, showed him all the hard copy evidence of this neighbor and his attorney committing perjury multiple times in the civil case he filed against me. I showed him the court ruling, specifically the citing of my right to enjoy my own property by the judge, This officer, who is not an attorney, explained that since the judge did not specify the neighbor could not apply toxic chemicals then the neighbor was within his rights. This deputy also informed me that “Roundup” is not harmful to humans, he uses it all the time. He completely ignores the laws that it is my property and I have the right to say what can and cannot be done on my property, Roundup when applied correctly may not be directly as extreme as the effect is had on me but, no rules were followed in the application to the chemical to my property. I have never even had poison ivy so for me to have an itchy place on both shin was unusual to say the least. I call BULLSHIT. I SAY THAT NOT ONE OF THESE INDIVIDUALS ARE ACTUALLY SO IGNORANT THAT THEIR ACTIONS CAN JUSTIFY ANYTHING OTHER THAN A CONSPIRACY TO DEPRIVE ME OF MY FEDERAL RIGHTS UNDER COLOR OF LAW, THE USE OF THESE CHEMICALS AND THE EFFECT THAT HAD ON MY BODY WERE ALMOST IMMEDIATE, WHEN I TOLD THIS NEIGHBOR THAT I THOUGHT THE CHEMICALS MAY BE CAUSING ADVERSE EFFECTS TO MY HEALTH HE CONTINUE TO APPLY THE CHEMICALS WITHOUT HESITATION, THE CHIEF OF POLICE REFUSED TO GIVE ME AN INCIDENT REPORT IN A TIMELY FASHION (16 months) AND BY THE TIME HE DID I WAS TO THE POINT OF COMPLETELY UNABLE TO FUNCTION, BOTH SHERIFF’S OFFICERS VIOLATING, MISREPRESENTING AND DETERMINING THEIR OWN INTERPRETATION THE COURT RULING, THE COUNTY ATTORNEY DENYING MY RIGHT TO EQUAL PROTECTION OF THE LAW AND MY RIGHT TO ENJOY MY OWN PROPERTY. Can only be recognized as a conspiracy against my rights, intent to cause serious injury or death. Conspiracy against rights under color of law. Had I not fled, the only way possible for me to escape the chemicals that were illegally applied on my property offered me three option, Shoot this neighbor dead, which in my opinion is pretty extreme due to the fact that law enforcement get paid to do that job so I would not be pushed to that extreme. Stay in my home and die from chemical poisoning or sell my home, business and property to the first person who would offer me $25,000 for it which would allow me to repay my debts to friends who supported my basic living expenses for the previous 5 years that it was unbearable for me to even wear clothes and cover my final expenses, There was no doubt that I was dying, the question was how long would it take before my suffering would end. Now if any of you can find what in this story is not a violation of Federal law please inform me of what and why. The county attorney being the highest authority of the law in my county clearly has a conflict of interest, the evidence I have supports he conspired to deny me of my rights to equal protection of the law and my right to enjoy my own property. He denied my right to access the court by refusing to file a trespassing complaint against my neighbor, and the brother of his colleague of 17 years. Trespassing is a criminal offense. Every action that was committed against me by this enterprises of self-serving imposters was criminal. I have no authority to prosecute criminal offenses. As the County attorney stated to me. “he will decide who is prosecuted in Lee County, Iowa. His job description clearly states his duty is to prosecute all criminal offenses in his county. I have been patient, more patient that most. This is the type of thing that would cause a citizen to go armed to a city council meeting and just start shooting from one end of the seated members to the other, Then the media not having any information relevant to the shooters situation the headlines in the next day’s news would say something like “Tragedy at City Hall, lone crazed gunman enters city hall and begins random shooting”. I am stating right now that I am of sound mind, The chemical poisoning began in 2005 and continued nonstop until the late summer of 2010. I lost my eyesight to the point I could not read or recognize people in 2007-2012, Only when I was approved for SSID was I able to get the massive cataracts removed from what the dr stated was the worst case of cataracts he had ever seen from a person of my age.The purpose of adding that was that I was completely dependent on the word of my attorney, who simply lied about everything, I hired him to file a complaint against the city he told me he did, he took my money and he never filed a damn complaint against anyone on my behalf. So it is my opinion he also conspired to deprive me of my rights, no attorney could be so incompetent as this man was by accident. I purchased my property in 1995 is was a fixer upper to say the least, But I was well aware of what my ability were and I could do this and it was within my budget, I put much money into my home and workshop, new updated electrical service and service panel, new furnace and hot water heater for house, used furnace for workshop, insulated both structures completely. I have every receipt for everything I bought to renovate this dilapidated property. So when the neighbor claims he put much work into his home, I want him to know that every professional contractor will tell him that renovating an old home compared to new construction is not even comparable when it comes to the time and difficulty. I did not have insurance money from a suspicious fire of the existing home to redevelop my property and build huge nonconforming structures that causes adverse effects to my neighbors property. My credit rating prior to this was 760, I had established a successful upholstery business and satisfied the loan earlier that the 5 years that I took the loan for. I knew when I purchased my legally nonconforming property that there are strict regulations in place for redeveloping my property. You Mr neighbor may not have researched your options that were available in redeveloping your property, until you went to get it recorded on the county plat map and were refused because your new redevelopment was not complaint to State building code and drainage laws. Your buddies did though, the Mayor, the building official did for sure, Witnesses have been and are still willing to testify that in their new construction the building administrator followed the standard procedure as required. The Mayor even though he did ask me at one council meeting, “who knows building codes”, I never got to answer that evening but I can tell the Mayor now that I certainly do, the building officials certainly should or if not the manual at city hall contains all the information on the subject. The Mayor should know the building codes since he built himself a beautiful new home on the riverfront soon after liquidating his properties around town including the one my neighbor purchased from him. So this violation to me, seems similar to what a rape victim must feel. In regard to a statute of limitations running our, anyone who has the balls to use that as an excuse and tell me to my face, I can promise I will try to be calm and patient. Then if we are working together I will have available the next higher level of law that what has happened to me by my local government officials does fall within violations that have no statute of limitation. I have done my homework. I can comprehend the english language. I expect these individuals to be held to highest degree of the law for an unprecedented case of what could easily fall into what is defined by international complaint as crimes against humanity. I am not certain how long this enterprise has been happening but I know of one other person who if there were to be a Federal investigation into her ordeal with the City officials may turn up evidence that, my story is the only on in which chemicals were used with the intent to eliminate me from my property, shows repeated plans and practices were the cause of her leaving the City also. In both cases the personal attack was against single middle-aged women. According to the FBI website they hold public corruption as a high priority. As well they should. There is no case on record in which chemicals weapons were used with intent to cause serious injury and those chemicals being applied to the victims property. For any authority to tell me that this is not in violation of Federal law when there is no other case for reference it is not debatable, a court and a jury are the only authority qualified to make any decisions in regard to this case. This case should be tolled from my initial complaint to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. I also recently read a piece regarding for example a County attorney being inaccessable to sue while he is in office so a complaint against him and a statue of limitation does not begin until he is not longer holding that office can anyone offer me more information in regards to this. 💀💀
The facts of this case in a brief summary is that a neighbor purchased the legally nonconforming lot adjoining mine. He purchased this lot from the Mayor. He began redeveloping it the following year by trucking in enough fill dirt to elevate the lot up to 10′ higher, constructed a two story nonconforming garage with roof surface altered to allow stormwater runoff to be diverted directly onto my property. He re-graded the fill dirt from the alley down to my property, resulting in diverting all stormwater runoff from his new redevelopment. The building permit issued for this structure is illegal mainly because is states this entire structure was started and finished in only 4 days. He also did not install drain tile around the slab or along the common boundary to carry stormwater to the city drainage ditch. I was advised he intended to build a living quarter in the upper level of this garage when I mentioned my concern about foreseeable adverse effects to my property.
The following year after a suspicious fire destroyed the existing double wide mobile home, he changed the plan. He was issued an illegal building permit for a new home. He again built a nonconforming structure, altered the roof surface and trucked in fill dirt all of which were made to intentionally divert stormwater from the entire lot onto my property. He illegally removed and existing berm, conflicting with a statement made under oath. He changed the frontage of the new home to be the alley. This to conflicts with a statement he made under oath. He and the city raised the alley to act as if it were his private city street, higher that the private property abutting it. The raising of the alley is in conflict with the standard procedure of an alley to be lower that the property adjoining it to take stormwater from a backyard and carry it to the city drainage ditch. There are many inconsistencies and conflicting statements implicating himself in perjury in the civil case he filed against me for loss of enjoyment of his property. The case was dismissed. At no time did the building official address my concerns, he did continue to issue illegal building permits to this neighbor however.
He then used his connections to be elected to city council. Specifically the city clerk. In that position he attempted to cause me financial harm, however all cases against me were dismissed, only costing the taxpayers of the city money. One case was for the same complaint the same as the civil case he filed against me, it was dismissed with a note at the bottom from the judge questioning the purpose of the case against me by the city. He held his position as city council member for the intent of continuing to harass me. He made false police reports against me. He initiated nuisance weed ordinances with the intent to cause me physical harm. He began applying toxic chemicals to my property in early 2005. I followed all standard procedures provided for me to remedy the nuisance drainage issue his property redevelopment causing adverse effects and loss of value to my property. The city building official refused to follow standard procedure to remedy the situation. The chemicals had severe effects to my physical health. I suffered severe pain as a result of not being able to get equal protection of the law in my requests for them to issue a trespassing complaint on my behalf. I had no protection of the law and the city level or the county level, in fact certain law enforcement officers misrepresented their authority and jurisdiction to act on this neighbors behalf. Ethical violation of not recognizing a conflict of interest existed at every local level, those special relationships were used for the benefit on this neighbor. He violated the civil court ruling by physically altering the railroad ties I had placed on my property to divert stormwater toward the city drainage ditch, he was assisted by Chief of Police Brent Shipman.
The chemicals unlawfully applied to my property continued for the following five years. My right to enjoy my own property as cited in the civil court ruling was violated due to the illegal application of the chemicals. These chemicals caused my condition to deteriorate to the degree that I believe they were going to be the cause of my death. He would not stop. No law enforcement officer intended to make him stop the criminal act. The Lee County Attorney advised me that “he would decide who gets prosecuted in Lee County.” He proceeded to file criminal complaints against me on my neighbors behalf. All were dismissed due to the fabrication of a law itself.
This neighbor had all the right people in all the right positions that he was aided and abetted causing me serious injury. When he discovered he could not get his illegal property redevelopment recorded on the county plat map is when he began using the chemicals as a weapon against me. He motive was to acquire my property. He could never get his illegal property redevelopment recorded on the county plat map without the addition of my property to his lot. I was forced to flee to escape the chemicals that were killing me. I fled from my home, business, property and the chemicals cost me my health. There are no words to express being violated of my right to this degree. I did survive only due to one Dr. from the University of Iowa hospital. However the medication I must take to control the severe skin condition will more likely than not cause damage to my internal organs. The damages include pain and suffering, along with the severe skin condition I lost my eyesight for over 7 years. I was unable to read, recognize people and had no business driving. My successful upholstery service that I operated out of my shop on my property and future income from that business. All lost income that will affect the amount of SS I received had I been allowed to stay at my property till retirement as I had planned for myself. This is unprecedented in that there is no other case according to the EPA field investigator in which a neighbor has been allowed to used chemicals on a neighbor’s property. There are laws in place to prevent this type of thing from happening.
After being told by Mayor Dinwiddie that this was a private issue I went to City Hall. I got copies of the building permits on file for Mark Conlees new garage and his new home. This one for his new home.
This gallery contains 4 photos.
Conlee sues Boatner for installing privacy curtain. Boatner was well within her legal rights to install a privacy curtain. The fact that he is and has been routinely unlawfully trespassing by applying toxic chemicals to her property having been told not to. He sues her for using her property as she chose to assuring no encroachment on Conlee’s property indicates Conlee has a personality disorder. Continue reading
Boatner followed standard procedure provided for all citizens to remedy issues caused by a neighbor’s property redevelopment. This property is legally nonconforming. The new neighbor purchased the lot from the Mayor of the City. City building official Mark Holland admitted he did not intend to do his duty and follow standard procedures to address and remedy the situation. Boatner contacted State Representative Phil Wise. Having explained the situation to Mr. Wise he showed the professional courtesy to contact City Hall and have Boatner put on the agenda so she could direct her questions to Council member/Building official Mark Holland in regards to the building permits issued for Mark Conlees property redevelopment. Having Contacted the Mayor and city clerk previously, she was always told to contact the building official. Again she was denied the opportunity to point out the fact that Conlee’s property is a legally nonconforming property and Iowa building code restricts the size of structures to be no large that the existing structures and they must comply with current building codes. These nonconforming structures are much larger that the existing double-wide mobile home and single car garage. Having reviewed the blueprints and following standard procedure Mark Holland would have never legally been able to issue building permits for these nonconforming structures. Holland was absent from this meeting. Based on the record of attendance at these meetings one may consider his absence was intentional. He was aware that Boatner was on the agenda for the purpose of getting answers to her questions concerning how these illegal redevelopment were approved, and the foreseeable nuisance drainage issue caused by the redevelopment had not been addressed and remedied.Conlee was unable to get the illegal redevelopment recorded on the County plat map. That is when he determined I was going to be eliminated. He had to have my property to get his illegal redevelopment recorded on the County plat map. He chose to use toxic chemicals to eliminate me. He applied chemicals to my property as if it were a normal part of his routine yard maintenance. My Federal 1st Amendment right was violated by the chief of police and the County attorney. I was literally begging County attorney Mike Short to protect my rights. I knew the chemicals were causing my death. Many people knew I was dying. They just did not care. They refused to file a trespassing complaint on my behalf. Their acts were blatant and intentional. State Representative Phil Wise retired soon after I contacted him. Since Jerry Kearns has been elected to State Rep. I have contacted him multiple times. He has made no comment. I want to know who he is representing. He is not representing me. He is not representing the State law. That only leave Mark Conlee’s best interest to be what he is representing.
After being told by Mayor Dinwiddie that this was a private issue I went to City Hall. I got copies of the building permits on file for Mark Conlees new garage and his new home. This one for his new home immediately caught my attention.
Why Zoning Is a Big Issue
Zoning comes into play on every single real estate development, big or small. So if you are thinking about buying property or making improvements to property that you own, you’ll need and want to know how zoning laws fit into your plan. If you fail to find out what uses are allowed as a first step, it can be an expensive mistake if it turns out zoning prohibits your development. Not only can you be forced to remove any improvements made to the property that violate the zoning regulations, you can also be fined and face a code enforcement action.
Zoning also impacts the value of a given piece elooking to build a subdivision. And depending on how productive the land is for agriculture, it may have limited value for farming, too. If you find a piece of vacant land that seems ideal for a rural subdivision, but later find out is zoned for agricultural use and cannot be divided, you may be stuck with a bare piece of land with no development potential.
Development Standards Also Apply
For a use to be approved, it must comply with the development standards in the applicable zoning ordinance. Development standards include design requirements and other criteria that control the manner in which a development must be completed. These standards vary depending on the specific use at issue. Development standards can include:
- height restrictions
- building setbacks
- minimum lot size
- lot coverage
- transportation and access
- building and landscape design, and
If a development cannot be completed in accordance with the development standards, the local government may not approve the use unless a variance is granted. Most jurisdictions will have a provision in the zoning ordinance explaining when a variance will be granted.
Except in my case when the building official refuses to address complainants concerns, refusal of duty are considered proving to be guilty of premeditated conspiracy against rights, deprivation of rights under color of law.
29.5 VIOLATION OF INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS — PENALTY.
- A person, who acts alone, or who conspires with another person
or persons, to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate or interfere
with any citizen in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or
privilege secured to that person by the constitution or laws of the
state of Iowa or by the constitution or laws of the United States,
and assembles with one or more persons for the purpose of teaching or
being instructed in any technique or means capable of causing
property damage, bodily injury or death when the person or persons
intend to employ those techniques or means in furtherance of the
conspiracy, is on conviction, guilty of a class “D” felony.
A person intimidates or interferes with another person if the act
of the person results in any of the following:
a. Physical injury to the other person.
b. Physical damage to or destruction of the other person’s
c. Communication in a manner, or action in a manner, intended
to result in either of the following:
(1) To place the other person in fear of physical contact which
will be injurious, insulting, or offensive, coupled with the apparent
ability to execute the act.
(2) To place the other person in fear of harm to the other
person’s property, or harm to the person or property of a third
- This section does not make unlawful the teaching of any
technique in self-defense.
- This section does not make unlawful any activity of any of the
following officials or persons:
a. Law enforcement officials of this or any other
jurisdiction while engaged in the lawful performance of their
b. Federal officials required to carry firearms while engaged
in the lawful performance of their official duties.
c. Members of the armed forces of the United States or the
national guard while engaged in the lawful performance of their
d. Any conservation commission, law enforcement agency, or
any agency licensed to provide security services, or any hunting
club, gun club, shooting range, or other organization or entity whose
primary purpose is to teach the safe handling or use of firearms,
archery equipment, or other weapons or techniques employed in
connection with lawful sporting or other lawful activity.
via Iowa Code 729.
Due to the fact that after multiple requests from Boatner for the building administrator Mark Holland to come to the location and address her concerns, he refused. A witness was prepared to testify that she asked Holland if he was going to go to the location and address Boatner’s concerns. He replied that he had no intention of going to Boatner’s to address her concerns. Knowing that the expert on this situation would be the local FEMA director Steve Cirinna. Knowing that a conflict of interest exists due to the fact the he is the husband of the city clerk Celeste Cirinna his opinion was not an option. Through a referral from the internet source Boatner contacted Lee County Extension Agent Robert Dodds for an opinion regarding the nuisance drainage issue. Mr. Dodds did come to the location as a professional courtesy. Mr Dodds noticed some discrepancies that I had not, I only noticed that the building permit was not signed by the builder as required by State of Iowa law. The following letter was written to me advising me of his opinion to some questions I had asked him. A copy was also sent to Mayor Dinwiddie along with a copy of the State drainage laws. This letter was never discussed privately with Boatner or at a public council meeting. This letter was not submitted as ongoing business to the next elected administration of Mayor Tony Sciumbato . This expert’s opinion was ignored in this case, yet there are numerous instances unrelated to Conlee-Boatner nuisance drainage issue in which public record shows Mr. Dodds opinion was requested and respected. At this point any reasonable person would recognize a conspiracy to deprive me of my Federal Constitutional Right to Equal Protection of the Law and my Right to Enjoy my own Property at the least of the issues in this case.
Conspiracy Deprivation of Rights under Color of Law.
It has already been established that building official Mark Holland refused his duty to address Boatners concerns, Boatner witnessed Lee County Detective Bob Conlee (brother of Mark Conlee) assisting Mark with a tape measure on 3-22-2005. Bob Conlee has no authority to act as an official of any kind in Montrose, he has no jurisdiction and there is an obvious conflict of interest.
In regards to Mark Conlee stating that he would be at the next Council meeting to request a ditch be dug, it has already been established that Boatner hand dug the City ditches in 1995 when she purchased the property.
Boatner also left copies of this letter on Mayor Dinwiddie and building official Holland’s door. NOTE THE WORD DITCH IS WHAT I REFERRED TO AS WHAT WE NEEDED
Before and after, the law regarding storm water states you cannot diver more storm water onto your neighbors property than it received before new property redevelopment. Continue reading
Conflicts of Interest in Land Use Decision-Making
Elected and appointed officials involved in land-use decision making must not be tainted with prejudice regarding on matters that come before them. Such prejudice exists when the individual finds herself with a conflict of interest. A conflict of interest arises when a public servant is in the position of deciding between public duty and private interests. The three most common conflict of interest situations are (1) when the member is in a position to gain financially from the decision being rendered, (2) when the member is a relative of an interested party, or (3) the member is near, or next to, the property at issue.
The most obvious example of a financial conflict is when a land-use decision-maker has an ownership interest in the property that is the subject of the requested action. A review of court cases from around the country reveals numerous other possible conflict situations:
- The decision-maker is in a business relationship with the applicant.
- The decision-maker is employed by a company that stands to gain from approval of the development proposal.
- The decision-maker owns property near the property in question.
- The member owns a business that would directly compete with the applicant’s business.
The tangle of familial relationships that can potentially give rise to conflict of interest questions is equally broad:
- The decision-maker’s spouse is the Realtor working with the landowner.
- The decision-maker’s close relative lives near the property in question.
- The member’s nephew is an attorney with the firm representing the applicant.
A decision-maker who questions whether he has a conflict of interest should ask for advice from the attorney representing his city or county. If a conflict of interest does in fact exist, the decision-maker must disqualify himself from the case. If a conflict of interest does not exist, it is the decision-maker’s duty to participate and vote, even if the situation may be uncomfortable because it involves a friend or associate.
Many communities, boards or commissions have adopted bylaws or policies that govern conflict, and some state codes require specific action to be taken where conflict of interest may exist. Care should be taken to follow any applicable standards in effect locally. While the advice to confer with legal counsel is always sound, some communities require that potential conflict of interest issues be declared and discussed at an open meeting and a vote taken to determine if an actionable conflict is present. Again, local practice should be followed when applicable. In addition, many local and national planning organizations provide models and standards for resolving conflict of interest issues.
Gary D. Taylor, Iowa State University