The City Council has decided to pay Councilman David Margrave's plumbing firm $1,386 for a bill that had been in limbo since the city began reviewing Margrave's voting record last March to determine whether he had a conflict of interest in voting to approve payments to his own company.
Although the City Council had been advised by the city attorney that it might be able to seek reimbursement for past billings, the council opted not to request the money and to pay the last bill.
Since Margrave was elected in 1982, his firm, Morrow & Holman Plumbing Inc., has done all the city's plumbing maintenance, more than $14,500 in billings, City Manager John Bernardi said. The city has ceased doing business with Morrow & Holman and will not use the company's service while Margrave is on the council, Bernardi said.
Margrave has never made a secret of his business relationship with the city and says he was told by former City Atty. Charles Martin that the arrangement was legal. After Martin's departure last year, however, the issue was reevaluated by his successors, who advised the council that Margrave's continued votes would constitute a conflict of interest under state law.