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Posted: Thursday, 12 June 2014 5:50PM

Berrien County Officials Study Conflict Of Interest Question

Two Benton Harbor Area Schools Board members are running for the Berrien County Board of Commissioners, and Joseph Taylor told WSJM News this week that if he's elected he wants to hold on to the school board post. Berrien County Clerk Sharon Tyler tells us that she and the commission are awaiting guidance from the county's corporate counsel, Donna Howard, on if Taylor could do both without a conflict of interest.


There is precedent for both allowing and not allowing someone to hold two offices. County Commissioner Jim Curran of Niles is also on the Brandywine School Board, where he has held office for 20 years, but Izzy DiMaggio had to resign his post several years ago on the Berrien County Road Commission when he was elected to be the Hagar Township Supervisor. Howard is researching the issue and plans to have a decision within the next several weeks.

Taylor is running against Commissioner Marletta Seats, while fellow BHAS board member Lisa Gulley is challenging Commissioner Mamie Yarbrough. St. Joseph Public Schools board member Bill Chickering is running for the seat being vacated by Commissioner Cathy Thieneman not seeking another term. Taylor is the only one of the three challengers also on a school board to say that he wants to continue holding that post if elected.


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