Township attorney: No conflict of interest for Swanson

Baldwin Township Board Chairman Jay Swanson did not act with a conflict of interest when he voted to rebuild the road


upon which he resides, according to township legal counsel.

The Baldwin Township Board on October 1 reviewed a memo from township attorney Bob Ruppe dated September 18, 2012.

The letter addressed a possible conflict of interest with Swanson’s vote for extensive road repairs to 112th Street in Baldwin Township.

In the letter, Ruppe stated:  “By its very nature, the decision to improve and maintain a town road will be of interest to all local citizens, including members of the town board of supervisors.” Ruppe further stated that Swanson’s own personal interest in the road repairs on his street cannot be so distinct that he would not be expected to represent the public interest fairly in the matter. Ruppe concluded his statement by noting that because elected officials must reside in the township that they represent, conflicts of interest are almost unavoidable.