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Easton Rules Board Member May Not Sub in Schools

EASTON, Conn. – An Easton substitute teacher, who was recently appointed to be an alternate to the Board of Finance, can no longer work in the district due to a conflict of interest , according to an advisory opinion issued by the town’s Board of Ethics.

Paul Lindoerfer was appointed to the finance board Jan. 19 by the Board of Selectmen. During his appointment, Easton resident Dori Wollen told the selectmen she felt there was a “conflict of interest” because Lindoerfer is paid by the Board of Education.

“I will abide by the Board of Ethics decision. I don’t really have any objections and I do not plan to appeal it,” Lindoerfer said Tuesday. He also said that as soon as the ethics board came to its decision, he removed his name from the school substitution list.

The Board of Finance plays a major role in nearly all financial requests in town, including reviewing and approving the education budget before it goes to an Annual Town Meeting in April.

The advisory opinion on the matter says, “The inherent conflict in being in a position to set the budget for an entity that employs a person presents a situation that would or could tend to impair the independence or actions in the performance of one’s official duties.”

Lindoerfer said he subs at Helen Keller Middle School a few times each month, earning $85 for each day he works. In 2011, he said, he earned $880 as a substitute teacher.

In its summary, the ethics board found that “the ad hoc employment by the Town of Easton Board of Education, of an alternate member of the Board of Finance as a substitute teacher presents a potential conflict of interest which is incompatible with the proper discharge of his or his official duties and would be in violation with the Code of Ethics.”

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