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Investigation Finds Conflict of Interest in Brewer Land Sale 

The lawyer hired to investigate if any laws were broken when the Brewer Housing Authority purchased land from the former chairman of the board says there was a conflict of interest with the sale. A report on the findings was presented to the Brewer City Council at a special meeting Thursday morning.Calvin Bubar served as chairman of the Housing Authority Board until he resigned last summer, the day before the purchase and sale agreement for his property on Chamberlain Street in Brewer was signed.Brewer city leaders became concerned there was a possible conflict of interest after learning the housing authority planned to pay Bubar $280,000 for the land. The same land was valued by the city for property taxes at $88,000 dollars.James Cohen of the law firm Verrill Dana in Portland says their review found Bubar’s conduct “raises several potential violations of maine law that may merit further investigation or prosecution”.Cohen is also concerned several tapes of recorded meetings by the Bangor Housing authority are missing.”Well, it took us a very long time to finally receive the tapes and we were disappointed when we found that many of the relevant meeting tapes were no long maintained, could not be made available and of those tapes that remained it was a mix of either sections that happened to include the areas relevant to this land sale weren’t there. It’s hard for us to tell why this was the case but we were certainly disappointed.”Councilor Larry Doughty says, “We were aware that some of the tapes were missing of the critical meetings and that some of them were inaudible. You couldn’t hear, were real scratchy and that all leads to big questions I think.”Councilors voted to take more time to review the report before they make any decisions on how to move forward.