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Councilwoman to pay $3K fine for conflict of interest: California Fair Political Practices Commission to decide on proposed settlement June 19
June 10, 2014, 05:00 AM By Michelle Durand Daily Journal

Rosanne Foust

Redwood City Councilwoman Rosanne Foust will pay a $3,000 fine by the Fair Political Practices Commission for weighing in on the now-defunct Saltworks development while heading a county economic organization that included the developers as members.

The FPPC found that on April 9, 2012, Foust, “attempted to use her official position to influence a governmental decision in which she had a financial interest by proposing that the City Council place the Saltworks development project on the November ballot.”

Foust is the paid president and CEO of the San Mateo County Economic Development Association and sits on the Redwood City Council. Both Cargill Corporation and DMB Pacific Ventures, the Saltworks project proponents, were paying dues members of SAMCEDA. SAMCEDA also endorsed DMB’s “50-50 Balance Plan” for retail, housing and open space on the former 1,436-acre Saltworks site just off Highway 101 but Foust was not part of that decision.

Foust did not want to comment on the conflict of interest violation Monday but agreed in a proposed stipulation to settle the case rather than go through an administrative hearing.

The matter is on the FPPC’s June 19 agenda for consideration. The FPPC could still reject the proposal and require a full hearing.

Redwood City resident Marsha Cohen filed the complaint against Foust in May 2012, a month after the meeting at which she suggested seeking an advisory vote on whether the city should scrap the pending Saltworks proposal or continue waiting for a revised plan on which it would ultimately vote. The council indicated plans to deny both the vote idea and the proposal which had sat unmoving for three years. A new plan was never submitted.

In 2010, the FPPC launched a similar investigation into allegations Foust violated the Political Reform Act with her dual roles. The FPPC warned Foust to abstain from Saltworks-related matters from that point forward. The FPPC also noted Foust acted on the counsel of then-city attorney Roy Abrams and issued her a written warning that future violations would carry up to $5,000 in fines.

michelle@smdailyjournal.com

(650) 344-5200 ext. 102

 

 

Tags: foust, saltworks, which, development, council, proposal,


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