COG head charged with conflict of interest

LOS ANGELES - Nicholas Conway, the longtime executive director of the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments, surrendered last Friday on a felony warrant charging him with multiple counts of conflict of interest for allegedly obtaining grants that benefited his private company.Conway, 60, surrendered before Superior Court Judge Shelly Torrealba. His arraignment on four felony counts of conflict of interest was set for July 23 at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center. Conway, who was placed on paid leave by the agency two weeks ago, was released on $100,000 bail. Deputy District Attorney Dana Aratani with the Public Integrity Division filed the felony complaint for arrest warrant June 26. Conway owns Arroyo Associates Inc., which manages the public agency. Under a management agreement between the agency and Conway's private firm, AAI received more money to manage specific state and county grants, which prosecutors allege Conway obtained as executive director. Aratani said the grant agreements added $143,000 in additional charges to COG for one fiscal year period. Government Code section 1090 bars public officials from having financial interest in any contract made by them in their official capacity, or by any body or board of which they are members. COG is a joint powers authority with members from 31 cities, three county supervisors and three water agencies. The agency is designed to address issues that affect the entire San Gabriel Valley.

********** Published: July 05, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 12