When Gov. Peter Shumlin finally came out unequivocally in favor of creating a state ethics commission last week, his spokesman told The Associated Press that the timing was not related to potential conflicts of interest that have surfaced recently involving current and former members of his administration and Lt. Gov. Phil Scott.
Maybe not, but these situations, taken together with earlier ones involving Attorney General William Sorrell and Senate President John Campbell, make a compelling case that Vermont, despite its reputation for probity, needs formal ethics guidance and enforcement for legislative and executive branch officials.
Brent Raymond, who headed the state office that managed the federal EB5 program in Vermont, departed earlier this month to take a job overseeing the Mount Snow ski resort’s pursuit of $50 million in foreign investment through the same program. When that news surfaced, the governor did express concern about possible conflict of interest and asked the Commerce and Community Development secretary to review all the communications leading up to Raymond’s departure to ensure that the relevant conflict and ethics policies were followed.
Read more by clicking below image