Stamford ethics board cites city engineer in conflict-of-interest case

March 19, 2019

STAMFORD — The Board of Ethics has found probable cause that a city engineer had a conflict of interest when she reviewed project plans submitted by a company that employs her husband.

Susan Kisken, coordinator of inspections and plan review for the city’s Engineering Department, should have disqualified herself from reviewing plans submitted by land-use consulting firm Redniss & Mead, where her husband is a principal, according to the board’s decision.

Kisken “denies that her actions violated either the spirit or text” of the city’s Code of Ethics, according to the decision, but acknowledges that if the matter were litigated, there would be sufficient evidence to support a finding “that an ethical violation in fact occurred.”

Because of that, Kisken will not contest the finding of probable cause, it says.

Kisken and her attorney, Tom Cassone, reached an agreement with the Board of Ethics that stipulates that any work involving Redniss & Mead that she handles in the future shall be reviewed by another city engineer, and the city will retain an “outside entity” to conduct random reviews of her work to ensure that Redniss & Mead is “not given any material benefit not common to the general interest of other citizens of the city.”

If her husband should take a position with another company that has business before the city, the stipulations would also apply to that company, according to the agreement.

acarella@stamfordadvocate.com; 203-964-2296.