Christenson: Kinnon Violated State Ethics Law

Christenson told reporters that Kinnon should've recused himself from a Tuesday night vote involving property that abuts the Mystic Valley Regional Charter School. Kinnon denies any impropriety.

Mayor Gary Christenson told reporters he plans to file a formal ethics complaint against Councillor Neil Kinnon, accusing him of violating state law by misusing his position on the council to further the financial interests of the Mystic Valley Regional Charter School.

Kinnon suggested in an email to Malden Patch that the charges were politically motivated for his criticism of the mayor's plans to move city hall.


The allegation

The charge surround a proposal to relocate the city's DPW yard and some other city services to the 2-acre Boston Steel site on Eastern Ave., which abuts the charter school. Kinnon is the chairman of the school's board of trustees, and was one of three councilors to vote against the proposal during a public properties committee meeting Tuesday night.

Christenson said Kinnon should have recused himself from that vote, as the development would likely affect the school's property value and financial interests.

He added that a representative from the charter school had also reportedly inquired “about the possibility of them acquiring the site” themselves, which he argued was a conflict of interest.

“He's the chairman of the board, his school has called to see whether or not they might be in the running to purchase the site,” Christenson told reporters. “That's a problem...I am a fan of the school...but a line has to be drawn at some point.”


Kinnon responds

Kinnon denied the charges.

“I have no financial interest in either Mystic Valley nor Boston Steel,” Kinnon wrote via email. “Mystic Valley has no financial interest and its Board of Trustees is not in the market to have anything to do with Boston Steel nor have they authorized any member to make offers etc.

“...Convenient when someone is opposing his plan to spend almost two times the going rate per acre, to purchase a property which is not big enough, to replace the four acre current City Yard and plop it into two of the most densely populated neighborhoods in Malden.”

Kinnon recently filed his own state-level complaint against the mayor's office, claiming Christenson engaged in real estate negotiations without the city council's approval. 

Christenson said he "didn't think much" of the charge, saying his administration did not engage in any real estate negotiation. 

mats December 30, 2012 at 12:58 AM
Thank you for the idea - maybe I should picket for people to clean up after their dog because I'm tired of seeing it out my driveway, out my front door, out my back door, around the corner, wet in the rain, steaming and fly covered in summer, and now of course hidden under the snow - complaining to the "owner" cost me years of untold grief and complaining to ALL officials got me nowhere
mats December 30, 2012 at 01:42 PM
Cleaning the streets was mentioned above, my streets are filthy with dog feces; another post states that the "complainers" should take legal action, run for office or picket to get what they want - that's what it has to do with it...maybe I should've jumped into the fray here regarding officials who can't get along? It's no wonder I can't get a clean street, the powers that be are much too busy filing formal complaints. any other questions?
Pete N December 30, 2012 at 04:22 PM
He is unfortunately telling the truth. You don't have to try to belittle him.
Chris Korando-Block March 13, 2013 at 06:43 AM
Yes, but did everyone see how he POSTED a notice in advance? I would be willing to bet that minutes are available and easily accessible. Neil, can your merry band say the same? You probably shouldn't be trying to bring anyone down on ethical, legal, or moral behaviors. Hello pot, kettle is calling!
Chris Korando-Block March 13, 2013 at 06:46 AM
David, I know this is coming well after the issue but may I suggest that if you would like your phone calls or emails from Sir Kinnon returned, you may want to be sure to make a financial contribution to his campaign (and a donation of some sort to the Kinnon Kingdom would go far as well). We hear this works well when playing the lottery too!


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