Dec 17, 2021 - Politics

Planning Commission ethics complaint dismissed

Metro Board of Ethical Conduct members discuss a complaint against Planning Commission member Pearl Sims on Thursday.
Metro Board of Ethical Conduct members on Thursday discuss a complaint against Planning Commission member Pearl Sims. Photo: Nate Rau/Axios

The Metro Board of Ethical Conduct on Thursday voted unanimously to dismiss the ethics complaint filed earlier this year against Planning Commission member Pearl Sims.

  • The complaint was filed by residents who claimed Sims had a bias against a proposed mixed-use development the commission ultimately recommended for approval.
  • Before the decision, Sims had already agreed to remove herself from future Edgehill community planning work and not to vote on those measures.

Why it matters: The complaint, which was amended in recent weeks following a sweeping records request of Sims' emails, was analyzed by the Metro Legal Department. The analysis concluded no violation took place.

  • "I do think the complaint and the amended complaint raised a fair question of whether there were strongly held beliefs that crossed the line into advocacy, or attempting to affect the outcome," board chairperson Diane Dilanni said during the meeting. "The case law talks about, 'Zealous public service is not conflict-of-interest in and of itself.' I think we have zealous public service here."

What they're saying: "From the beginning we've maintained that this complaint should have never been brought," Sims said in a statement through her attorney Jay Harbison. "We are pleased that the board made the right decision in this case."

  • Addressing the board after its decision, Elizabeth Moss, one of the residents who filed the complaint, said, "Coming to this resolution with her recusal is what we wanted. So what you have done here is appropriate."
avatar

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Nashville.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Nashville stories

No stories could be found

Nashvillepostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Nashville.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more