BOURNE – A Buzzards Bay resident said he has filed ethics complaints against three men prominent in town government regarding their connections to the controversial New Generation Wind project.
Mitchell McClain filed three separate complaints last week with the State Ethics Commission involving Bourne Planning Board chairman Christopher Farrell, planning board vice chairman Daniel Doucette and Bourne Financial Development Corp. president Barry Motta.
Farrell and Doucette also are members of the development corporation, a quasi-public group that works to bring businesses to Bourne.
“There is an apparent conflict of interest,” McClain said of the three men’s service with the BFDC.
McClain filed the complaints because he is concerned that Farrell and Doucette, in their dual roles, “could directly influence” the planning board’s discussion of the New Generation Wind project.
Motta is included because he works alongside Tudor “Jerry” Ingersoll, one of the wind project’s backers, as a manager in the Bourne Development Campus LLC, McClain said.
The Bourne Development Campus is a for-profit company working to create the green technology park in Bournedale, according to state records.
Land for that park, where the New Generation Wind project is planned, is owned by Ingersoll. The BFDC is leasing 100 acres from Ingersoll for the park, according to planning board minutes from 2009.
To McClain, that means Farrell and Doucette have a direct connection to the wind project and could benefit because of their interest via BFDC if the project is approved, he said.
The BFDC has a board of 15 directors, including three appointed by the town.
Motta said all members of the BFDC board are “totally, 100 percent volunteer.”
Farrell would not comment on the complaint but said that if the Ethics Commission were to find a conflict, he would comply with the state board’s recommendation.
“If they say there’s a conflict, we’ll abide by it,” he said. “We’ll fix it.”
Doucette was not available for comment.
Motta said the BFDC and Bourne Development Campus work together but are separate entities. He said he was named a Bourne Development Campus manager because of his role as president of the BFDC, not because he is actively supporting Ingersoll’s proposed turbine project.
“Basically, I check on what they’re doing as we develop different projects,” Motta said of the Bourne Development Campus. “I obviously have a special interest, but I remain unbiased.”
This is not the first ethics complaint filed since the New Generation Wind debate began in Bourne more than a year ago.
Last year, Selectman Jamie Sloniecki was the subject of a complaint because he is good friends with a man who lives near the proposed turbines and had made outspoken comments condemning the New Generation Wind project. The complaint was dismissed.
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