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Jones will serve if elected after all

May 7, 2012

One week after abruptly announcing he would end his campaign for Selectmen, conservative Russell Jones suggested this weekend that he will still run a low-key campaign to see if he can earn a spot on the Board anyway.

Jones said he inadvertently missed the deadline last week to take his name off the ballot. That means many of his supporters might still vote for him, and if he wins Jones said he won’t protest. “I will serve if I’m elected,” Jones said.

“That being said, you will probably not see a sign campaign,” Jones said.

He has not said whether he will participate in the League of Women Voter’s candidate forum in May or sit down for interviews with The Walpole Times, if invited, as the other candidates are doing.

Jones originally withdrew his campaign because the State Ethics Commission informed him that his contract snow-plow work for the town every winter might put him in violation of the state’s conflict-of-interest law if he was elected. After reviewing his business’ financial information, Jones now says snowplowing only takes up a tiny portion of his company’s revenue, and he believes a workaround to that potential conflict-of-interest may be possible.

Based on my non-lawyer interpretation of the state ethics law, I believe I understand the basis for the Ethics Commission ruling declaring Jones to be ineligible to serve, however I still find it highly questionable in light of the number of other town officials who directly benefit from town spending.

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