LEWISTON — City Councilor Stephen Morgan denied any conflict of interest concerning his votes Tuesday to preserve the Bates Mill No. 5 building, saying colleague Barbara Trafton’s contract to market the Bates Mill buildings expired almost a year ago.
“A colleague of mine was marketing those buildings, but I understand that that relationship ended about a year ago,” Morgan said Wednesday. “But even if she was still involved, we are both independent contractors. We have two separate businesses and I had no control over the marketing of any of those buildings.”
Morgan, a real estate agent for Auburn’s Keller Williams Realty, cast the deciding vote Tuesday night agreeing to move forward with a new Lincoln Street parking garage. He also made a motion to stop the demolition of Bates Mill Building No. 5.
Barbara Trafton is another agent working for Keller Williams and she shares space in the company’s Center Street offices in Auburn.
Trafton said she was hired by Tom Platz and Pat Maiorino in 2006 to market the Bates Mill buildings they controlled. Trafton’s job as exclusive listing agent ended in May 2009.
“They decided that they would do well to do their own listing,” Trafton said. “I handled the marketing for them for three years, but they are doing it themselves now.”
Trafton said she never marketed the city-owned Bates Mill No. 5 building, although the city did place an advertisement with her picture and contact information on its Web site.
City Administrator Ed Barrett said he learned last week that the advertisement was still up on the city’s Web site and had it removed.