SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - What is a conflict of interest as it pertains to the city of Springfield and its casino process? The 22News I-Team broke the story last week of how the consulting firm representing Springfield's casino committee is a registered lobbyist for MGM and Penn National Gaming-- two of the four casino companies fighting to locate in western Massachusetts.
On Tuesday, The state Gaming Commission cited a possible conflict of interest , and asked Springfield to put the process of bringing a casino to Springfield on hold.
Dave Crevier, attorney at Crevier & Ryan, LLP explained for 22News what a conflict of interest is: "I could be a city official and my primary interest is looking out for the best interest of the city, and somebody could be my neighbor who could have an interest alternative to the city, and I'm interested in helping out my neighbor, so I have a conflict of interest. So it's when you have two interests that are in conflict with one another: a primary interest and a secondary interest."
Crevier told 22News that he does not believe there is a legally prohibited conflict of interest, which is what Springfield City Solicitor Ed Pikula told 22News last week. Crevier says the ultimate interpretation belongs to the State Gaming Commission. The State Gaming Commission will decide next week whether there is indeed a problem with a conflict of interest.