Hopkinton councilman once again abstaining from wind energy issues after he failed to disclose his employer entered lease with developer
HOPKINTON – A town councilman is again abstaining from voting and discussing wind tower issues after failing to disclose that his employer had entered into a lease with a wind developer.
Town Supervisor Susan Wood was made aware of the issue following an ethics law complaint from the lawyer of the Concerned Citizens for Rural Preservation group.
A lawyer from the CCRP contacted Wood claiming that it was against the ethics law for councilman Greg Crump to participate in wind tower-related talks at town meetings because the company he works for has a lease with the wind developer, Avangrid Renewables.
CCRP describes themselves as a group of neighbors, friends, local government people and business owners from the Parishville-Hopkinton area who research information about industrial wind power and then inform the local public about the full scope of realities involved with industrial wind projects
Avangrid, a subsidiary of Iberdrola, is heading the North Ridge Wind Farm, which calls for about 40 wind towers to be constructed.
Crump had been abstaining due to a conflict of interest with a family member of his being a leaseholder with Avangrid.
A code of ethics change was made related to which family members can impact the ability to vote. The law eliminated cousins, aunts, and uncles, while keeping more immediate family members such as parents and siblings.
Wood says she has a call in to the town’s attorney to find out if Crump is eligible to participate in discussions and vote on wind farm topics.
She has no timetable as to when she would have an answer, but said Crump did not participate in a meeting last week as a precaution.
Wood said she was aware that Crump worked for Curran Renewable Energy, but she was not aware that the company had signed a lease with Avangrid.
She said the law states that a councilman needs to disclose the information, and Crump did not do that.
If Crump is deemed ineligible to vote, the board will be down to three eligible voters.
Councilman Gilbert Sochia is abstaining because a close member of his family is a leaseholder with Avangrid.
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