A Fairview Heights alderwoman will get to vote on an Interstate 64 project that could affect her home on Ruby Lane.
St. Clair County Circuit Judge Robert Haida ruled Friday that no conflict of interest existed in law to prevent Ward 4 Alderwoman Linda Arnold from voting on the project.
"The proposed ordinance can be fairly characterized as an attempt to set the policy of the city of Fairview Heights," Haida stated in his order. "The proposed ordinance does not involve a contract, budgeting of taxpayer funds or the expenditure of taxpayer funds. The common law does not prevent the Plaintiff from exercising her right to vote on the ordinance in question or other similar 'policy making' proposals."
Earlier this year, Arnold co-sponsored a resolution to prevent the placement of an I-64 exit at Ruby Lane. A vote had been delayed until the conflict of interest issue was resolved.
Arnold had filed a lawsuit against the city to resolve whether she can act on the project if her home on Ruby Lane might be affected by the ramp's placement.
Arnold said no discussions have been held to discuss when a vote might be held now that she has won her suit.
The city's attorneys, Jason Winslow and Dawn Sallerson, had argued that common law prohibits Arnold, a public official, from voting or sponsoring legislation because she has personal and financial interests tied to the outcome and therefore, cannot be impartial when voting.
Arnold's attorney, Jay Dowling, has said Arnold does not stand to gain or lose more than anyone else in the Ruby Lane neighborhood. He said Arnold would act on behalf of her constituents, who have said they do not want an interchange at Ruby Lane.
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