Commission clears Newport Beach council member of conflict allegation

The California Fair Political Practices Committee reportedly decided not to pursue a conflict of interest claim against Newport Beach Council member Brad Avery. Newport Beach community activist Mike Glenn challenged Avery’s participation in a vote on banning jetpacks within city limits.

Glenn, in a complaint filed with the Fair Political Practices Committee, specifically alleged Avery’s involvement with a business in Newport Beach’s harbor precluded him from deciding whether jetpacks should be banned from the city. Avery’s business interests, Glenn argued, were in direct competition with jetpack operations.

“Brad Avery had voted on the jet packs even though he was being paid to run a business on the harbor which he admits he competes with space,” Glenn wrote on his blog, savenewport.com, on Feb. 27.

The commission, according to Glenn, stated Avery was exempt from conflict of interest violations because he derived his income from a state agency, not a private company. Avery is the director of Orange Coast College’s School of Sailing and Seamanship.

News reports from local outlets confirmed the commission would not be pursuing Glenn’s conflict of interest allegations against Avery.

Glenn stated Avery would be allowed to vote on harbor related issues in front of the Newport Beach City Council despite his income from Orange Coast College, a state-operated entity.

“According to Section 82030(b)(2) of the California Code of Regulations, Avery is exempt from all conflict of interest cases, because he is being paid by the government rather than by a company,” Glenn said. “This clears Avery to vote on virtually all harbor matters moving forward without the threat of a Conflict of Interest case being brought against him.”

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