SCARBOROUGH – The Town Council voted Wednesday to drop all ethics allegations against a town councilor who was accused of failing to disclose a conflict of interest.

Councilor Richard Sullivan was accused last month of violating council rules by failing to disclose a conflict of interest during a dispute over a ban on using pesticides on town property. Councilors Karen D’Andrea and Carol Rancourt raised the conflict-of-interest issue after Sullivan introduced a proposal to loosen the ban.

Sullivan’s brother, Daniel Sullivan, has a $40,000-a-year landscaping contract with the town that involves mostly mowing and does not include spraying. Town Council rules require councilors to disclose any immediate family members who receive more than $1,000 from the town.

Councilors voted to drop the allegation against Sullivan after meeting in executive session for about an hour. The unanimous vote was taken without comment or discussion by councilors. Sullivan, D’Andrea and Rancourt did not vote because of their involvement with the allegations.

Councilors could have considered censure if they had found that Sullivan violated the ethics code.

Councilors have been required since 2009 to file sworn disclosure statements each April. None did so, however, until this year, after the allegations were made against Sullivan.

Sullivan said he was unaware of the disclosure requirement. In a disclosure statement filed April 24, he said he did not know the amount of his brother’s contract and does not benefit from the business.

Sullivan’s proposal to allow use of non-organic pesticides when needed failed because of technical problems with the way the vote was taken on April 18, according to Town Manager Tom Hall. The council has not reconsidered the plan.

Staff Writer Gillian Graham can be contacted at 791-6315 or at:

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