Group wants Maricopa County board chairman recused from certain - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Group wants Maricopa County board chairman recused from certain votes

(Source: KPHO/KTVK) (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
(Source: KPHO/KTVK) (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
(Source: KPHO/KTVK) (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
(Source: KPHO/KTVK) (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

A community group is accusing the chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors of using his power to protect his family's business.

Dressed in orange, members of the organization called Save Tonopah Oppose Poultry Plant (STOPP) delivered a petition to the board on Wednesday wanting Clint Hickman to recuse himself from any votes that have to do with air quality.

Members said the votes would impact the Hickman Egg Farms plant in Tonopah, and he has too much financial stake to look out for the public's best interests.

"He makes rules that his business either profits or loses money by as an air quality board," Dan Mack with STOPP said.

Two years ago, Hickman Egg Farms opened a new facility in Tonopah. Since then, residents have complained about foul smells and unbreathable air. STOPP wants Hickman to remove himself from voting on air quality issues since it's the county's job to regulate that.

"Never going to happen, never going to happen," Hickman said when asked if he would recuse himself from the votes.

Arizona conflict of interest laws are broad, so Hickman doesn't appear to be in violation. He said voting for stricter air regulations would hurt everyone.

"It's impacting the bottom line of every resident of the state," Hickman said. 

During the past two years, the Tonopah farm has received more than 250 environmental complaints resulting in three violations totaling about $1,300.

Hickman said he does plan to recuse himself from one upcoming vote because it would directly affect his company.

Copyright 2016 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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