Attorney: Tamposi has no conflict
NASHUA – A city alderman doesn’t have a conflict of interest that should prevent him from voting on a controversial cross-city roadway, according to an opinion issued by the city’s attorney.
Some opponents of the Broad Street Parkway have argued that Ward 3 Alderman Michael Tamposi Jr. shouldn’t debate or vote on the roadway because members of his family own land near the road’s proposed route. They say members of the alderman’s family stand to profit if the parkway is built.
For months, Tamposi has heard those allegations, which were repeated by several speakers Monday night at a public hearing on a proposed $37.6 million bond to pay for the parkway’s construction.
“When this board votes on the bonding, I demand that Alderman Tamposi not be allowed to vote on this due to the fact that Fairmont Associates, who owns a portion of the property of land to be taken for the project, is owned and operated by the Tamposi family, and this will constitute a conflict of interest,” David Gleneck, a longtime parkway opponent, said during Monday’s public hearing.
Daniel Richardson, a former Ward 3 alderman, called on Tamposi to recuse himself from issues related to the parkway, as did other speakers.The board of aldermen may vote next month on the bond, one of the final hurdles needed for parkway construction to begin. The vote is expected to be tight – 10 of the 15 aldermen must approve the bond for the resolution to pass.
Tamposi sought out advice on whether he has a conflict from attorney James McNamee, the city’s corporation counsel. Tamposi said that in 1994, a corporation his uncles owned purchased property off Baldwin and Fairmont streets. In March 2000, the property was conveyed to two limited partnerships consisting of his cousins, Tamposi said.
In a written response to Tamposi’s request for guidance, McNamee gave his opinion that no conflict of interest exists.
McNamee cited two provisions in the city’s revised ordinances that address conflict of interests.
“The ordinance defines a ‘personal and pecuniary interest’ as one involving you or your spouse, parents, children, step-children, brothers, sisters, step-brothers or step-sisters,” McNamee wrote.
“This is clearly not the case, and the ownership of property by members of your extended family does not give you a direct interest,” he wrote.
McNamee also noted a provision that he said “essentially deals with influence peddling, which your facts do not even hint at.”
Tamposi said Wednesday that McNamee’s opinion should put to rest any worries that he has a conflict of interest concerning the parkway.
“I asked for (the corporation counsel’s opinion) to make sure I was in the clear,” Tamposi said.
“No one has ever asked me if I’m involved in any of these properties,” he said. “They just spout off these allegations.”
Tamposi added, “I have no interest at all in these properties.”
He said it’s not his concern if property that would potentially be impacted by the parkway is owned by “some of my family members I don’t even talk to.”
Tamposi added he has never publicly given his opinion on whether the parkway should be built.
“This is ridiculous,” he said of the conflict-of-interest allegations.