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Weston Board of Ethics Delays Finkel Decision

The fate of Board of Finance member David Finkel remained uncertain as the Board of Ethics failed to reach a unanimous decision.

The three members of Weston's Board of Ethics Commission guaranteed an uncertain future for , whose with the Weston school district caused a partisan rift during campaigning.

The town charter calls for a five-member ethics board; however, only three legitimate members remain active, as two members' appointments recently expired.

A search for two replacement appointees is currently underway. First Selectman Gayle Weinstein, who met with the board prior to the announcement, did not indicate when or how long it would take for the new appointees to begin their respective terms. Nevertheless, the board said that the town had already received several letters from qualified applicants.

After meeting in executive session, board member Terry Castellano announced that the board was not able to come to a unanimous decision; a unanimous decision is required to guarantee the majority vote.

"We will approach the selectmen to appoint two more people," Castellano said. "Unfortunately, we will need to start from scratch."

Finkel, recently sworn in to the finance board despite the outstanding inquiry, was in attendance at the meeting and appeared dismayed at the delay.

Finkel then asked if the board would be able to share what the key issue was so that he would be able to address it at the new hearing.

"I would certainly like to know," Finkel said, "so there's no potential issue" or "lack of clarity."

The three board members, comprised of Paula Savignol and Harriette Heller in addition to Castellano, denied his request.

"To be perfectly honest, we cannot tell you what the key issue is," said Castellano. All three members indicated that the board required an opinion from Weston town attorney Pat Sullivan before revealing any information publicly that was discussed during executive session.

Finkel left the meeting immediately following the announcement.

Resident Margaret Wirtenberg, in attendance at the meeting, observed that the meeting was hastily scheduled, although within the legal notification requirements. 

Heller commented that Weston's Republican and Democratic leadership were apprised of the hearing; the date, time and agenda were also published in advance on the Weston town website's meeting calendar.

"It was legal, but it was short notice," Wirtenberg said.

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