Conflicts of interest are not always positive, any more than
relationships are always positive. And conflicts are based on
We tend to think of an official using his position to help a family
member or business associate. But sometimes officials use their
position to harm someone with whom they have a negative
relationship, anyone from a former in-law (the bum who dumped my
sister) or current in-law (that woman who's driving my brother
crazy) to a former business partner or a major business competitor.
These negative situations do not crop up in the news very often.
That is why it is worth noting a situation that occurred with
respect to Colorado's Public School Capital Construction Assistance
Fund. According to an
article today in the Daily Caller
, an auditors report
recommended better conflicts of interest rules for the Fund's board.
As an example of a problematic conflict situation, it gave the handling an application for a grant from a school district
that had previously rejected bids from two Assistance Fund Board
members’ construction companies. Minutes show that both members
spoke negatively about the school district's project. The auditors were surprised they
were allowed to participate in the matter.