I appreciate the civil grand jury's efforts but their finding was incorrect. My co-ownership of a business with Ryan Swehla, who also was a Neighborhood Stabilization Program recipient in a separate business, was specifically disclosed prior to my being on the City Council and was well known by the City Council and staff. Furthermore, I recused myself on all NSP votes except my first NSP vote while in office (a year prior to the commission in question).
Regardless of this, I did mishandle the real estate commission disclosure. I believed at the time the commission was collected that it was allowable because 1) it was not paid from city funds but by the seller, a previous bank client of mine, 2) I had recused myself from NSP related votes and 3) I was not on the committee that selected recipients and made funding decisions.
I am very sorry that this conflict of interest resulted in the city and this program being cast in a negative light. I have assisted in every way to resolve it. This has been a major life lesson. I hope to continue making positive contributions to the community.