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JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY News Now) – Jamestown’s Mayor is responding to reports that a local development group may have violated their conflict-of-interest policy when they approved funding to businesses connected to their own board members.
This week, WRFA reported the Jamestown Local Development Corporation appears to have violated their own by-laws when they approved grants to a slew of local businesses.
Specifically, three separate allotments of $64,000, $15,000 and $9,500 were made to a local wedding planning business, sake product shop and church, respectively.
While board members tied to each entity, councilman Jeffrey Russell, Pete Scheira and rector Luke Fodor, reused themselves from a vote on the allocations, the JLDC bylaws strictly prohibit awarding funding to any body connected to, or that has relation to, a sitting board member.
In a statement on Thursday, Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist said the allocations were “made under the knowledge the funds awarded were appropriate and legal under state and federal law.”
The Mayor went on to thank the public that brought these issues to his attention, and said, “if there are any discrepancies, or actions contrary to law, we will work to rectify those issues as soon as possible.”
In the end, the Mayor said he believes the grant awards were “done in a transparent and public process” and were “being made for the benefit of local businesses and the public good.”
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