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SF Ethics Board Investigating Conflict Complaint

May 13, 2011, 6:07 PM by Ben Dunsmoor

SF Ethics Board Investigating Conflict Complaint
SIOUX FALLS, SD - The Sioux Falls Board of Ethics had its first meeting Friday afternoon on a conflict of interest complaint filed against city council member Jim Entenman. 

Entenman supports building a new events center near the Sioux Falls Arena and Convention Center. But, the organizer of Build It Downtown says the land Entenman owns near the site is a conflict of interest.

The building sits at the corner of West Burnside Street and North Elmwood Avenue. It's Entenman's old J & L Harley Davidson store. Right now it's used for storage but it's also right across the street from a proposed parking lot for a new events center.

Steve Hildebrand, the organizer of the Build It Downtown effort, points out in his complaint to the Board of Ethics that Entenman owns land within the area that professionals hired by the city say would 'increase in value' if an events center is built at the arena site.

Members of the board of ethics voted Friday to have an investigator measure out the exact distance between the property and the proposed events center site, as well as what the economic studies say about the impact of a new events center on surrounding properties.

Board members also want to know current and future plans for the property.

Entenman has told KELOLAND News he has no plans to sell or develop the land, and he doesn't have a conflict of interest.

But, if this board decides there's probable cause for a conflict it will be up to Entenman's peers on the city council to make the final decision.

The Board of Ethics has 30 days to hold a hearing, gather information, and make a decision on the conflict of interest complaint. Ten days have already passed since the complaint was filed, so in the next few weeks there will be a hearing on the issue before the board makes a decision.

If the board finds probable cause it goes to the council. If the board finds there is no conflict the issue is closed.

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