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Fred Lewis: Complaint against Planning Commission chair stands

Friday, June 1, 2018 by Jack Craver

After overseeing more than 60 hours of deliberation on CodeNEXT, Planning Commission Chair Stephen Oliver is stepping down from the panel next month. While he was lauded by his colleagues for his management of a complicated, contentious process, Oliver was also the target of anti-CodeNEXT activists, who accused him of having a conflict of interest as a result of the work his architecture firm does for bars and breweries. In March, four attorneys associated with anti-CodeNEXT efforts sent a letter asking the Travis County attorney to investigate Oliver for violating state conflict of interest law. Lewis told the Austin Monitor on Wednesday that the complaint still stands and will not be withdrawn as a result of Oliver leaving the commission. “If he violated the law, it doesn’t matter if he steps down months later,” he said. Oliver made a point during the recent CodeNEXT amendment process of abstaining from votes relating to bar regulation.

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