Bowling waiting to respond to ethics complaint

August 26, 2003|LIZ MAPLES

Mayor John W.D. Bowling says he will not respond to ethics charges about Danville Manor Shopping Center until the Ethics Board has finished its inquiry.

The board will meet at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at city hall.

"It's out of respect for the board," Bowling said.

But Bowling did deny any financial interest in Popeye's restaurant on Hustonville Road as was alleged in a complaint filed by Danville Citizens for Good Government. Alan Burns, one of the mayor's partners in Danarb, Inc., the corporation that owns Arby's, is the owner of Popeye's.

The DCGG believes that Bowling should have recused himself from a vote taken in January about moving an entrance to Danville Manor shopping center, which would have affected traffic to Long John Silver Seafood Shoppe, because he owns a competing business, Arby's, on Hustonville Road across from the center. The group's complaint cited ownership in both Arby's and Popeye's.


The previous City Commission voted to move the entrance, saying that its present location was hazardous. The entrance would have been moved to where Long John Silver now sits, and the restaurant would have been moved just north of Fazoli's.

Long John Silver delayed construction as the problem was studied, but Bowling and Commissioners Ryan Owens and Chester Kavanaugh voted to suspend it in January.

Bowling has said that he was against the project because it was a private development and he didn't believe city money should be spent on it.

The total cost would have been more than $75,000. The city had already spent $2,000 on the study.

DCGG Chairman Ron Jackson said in the complaint that Bowling "created the impression of impropriety even if no improper action was intended."

"This action shows flagrant disregard for the Principles of Conduct expressed in the Values section of the Danville Code of Ethics," according to the complaint.

The DCGG based its complaint on a section of the ethics code that reads that no city official should take action on matters where it might benefit a business in which the official has a financial interest.

The complaint was signed by Jackson, George Jackson, Alex Stevens, Kevin Caudill, Jamey Leahey, Jeff Hilyard, Ginny Gross, Dick Gross, Karen Hilyard, Patsi Trollinger, Julie Rodes and Martha Jackson.

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