SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Following weeks of controversy, the State Ethics Commission has found no conflict of interest involving casino consulting firm Shefsky & Froelich.
The City released the Ethics Commission report on Wednesday afternoon.
Questions about Shefsky & Froelich were raised when it was discovered that the firm had two casino developers, MGM International and Penn National Gaming, as registered clients in Illinois. City Solicitor Ed Pikula also said that the firm had a prior relationship with Hard Rock International. The three firms are among the four interested in developing a casino in Springfield.
Citing the fact that firm partner Cezar Froelich and other members of the Springfield consulting team do not provide services to MGM or Penn National, and that the work of other attorneys in the firm on the casino companies' behalf only provides a small part of their business, they found no conflict. They also cited the fact that the work that members of the firm have done for MGM and Penn National was done out-of-state.
The firm says that based on the commission's conclusions, there is also no appearance of a conflict of interest, because the firm has made public disclosures in writing regarding these issues.
Froelich expressed that he was pleased with the commission's findings. "By filing the disclosure forms required by Massachusetts law, we believe we have fully complied with such law in a manner that allows us to provide unbiased advice to the City," he said in a statement.
The commission report also outlined a series of guidelines for the firm moving forward.