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More Conflicts Of Interest Under Review On County Waste Board

An advisory board that oversees Mecklenburg County's waste management efforts is once again in ethical trouble. Three members of the Waste Management Advisory Board who have direct financial conflicts of interest with the ReVenture project failed to recuse themselves from discussion during a meeting held on Tuesday. A county attorney had previously advised board members with conflicts to excuse themselves from the table when ReVenture discussion arose. "While we've been assured that this process would continue in a clear and transparent manner, that's not happening," says the Sierra Club's Bill Gupton - an outspoken opponent of the ReVenture trash-to-energy power plant proposal. County Attorney Marvin Bethune is now looking into possible ethics violations at the Waste Management Advisory Board for the second time. Earlier this year, the board was scheduled to make a recommendation on the ReVenture project to the County Commission. But that didn't happen because the board's work had been compromised by the participation of several members with a financial interest in the county's decision. Two advisory board members are paid consultants of ReVenture. A third works for Republic, which owns the Speedway Landfill and would lose business if the county sends its trash to ReVenture instead.