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Updated: 05/17/2018 08:30:03AM

Ethics attorney: Mayor should abstain from vote

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An attorney for the Florida Commission on Ethics said Punta Gorda Mayor Rachel Keesling must abstain from voting on building heights in the city’s downtown zoning district due to a conflict of interest.

Keesling had requested an opinion from the COE following a March 7 City Council meeting in which the council voted to approve language for an ordinance that would relax building height restrictions. The vote passed 3-2, with Keesling voting in favor. Questions arose whether she should have voted at all given she and her husband own property that could be affected, but, after consulting with City Attorney David Levin, Keesling chose not to abstain from voting.

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