This implies that he has a conflict. It furthermore implies that he HAD a conflict during past votes for which he did not recuse himself.
Despite this, the Daily has done no stories implying a conflict, only an article instigated by Stone that essentially said “I’m not guilty” when no one had yet accused him of anything.
Is there a story here that hasn’t been done? Here’s where I’m going with this: Have the right questions been asked on this issue? Such as: When did Tom show ASW the Cotton Ranch property? When did he sign a contract with ASW? When did he introduce the Berry Creek 5th project to ASW? What does the state statute say regarding conflicts of interest? Does this all add up to a conflict that should, at the very least, exclude Tom from further decisions involving ASW? And, finally, did Tom do any of this knowingly?
When all is said and done, this may or may not be an issue, but I’m not sure the right questions have been asked and researched. Thank you for your consideration of this issue.
Editor’s note: The editorial implied nothing more than what we stated. The transaction and Stone’s role were first covered in June in a nearly 1,000 word story. Stone set ASW up with Cotton Ranch after the developer approached him following the conclusion of the county accepting ASW’s bid to build affordable housing at Berry Creek. Stone agreed to help after consultation with the county administration and attorneys about legalities. Legally, there is no conflict of interest. Our opinion – which was stated and not implied – is that Stone should avoid future county decisions involving ASW if they should ever come up. Stone made the effort to make sure he did not have a conflict of interest before agreeing to help ASW with Cotton Ranch. Furthermore, there is no consumated deal, and no commission to this point.