Jul 28, 2014
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Radnor Commissioner: I Have No Financial Interest in Villanova University

Photos were circulating on Monday, hours before a big vote on Villanova University's proposed zoning change, of a member of Radnor Township's Board of Commissioners in a "staff" jacket working a recent Villanova basketball game.

Radnor Commissioner: I Have No Financial Interest in Villanova University Radnor Commissioner: I Have No Financial Interest in Villanova University
Photos were circulating on Monday, hours before a big vote on Villanova University's proposed zoning change, of a member of Radnor Township's Board of Commissioners in a "staff" jacket working a recent Villanova basketball game.

The email asked if this was a conflict of interest that had never been disclosed.

It's something Bill Spingler has been doing for about three decades, he told Radnor Patch Monday afternoon. He volunteers as security for the men's basketball home games and recruits other volunteers. The money they get paid by the North Carolina-based company hired by Villanova for security goes to the Radnor-Wayne Little League, he said.

"I’m a volunteer, I don’t get paid," Spingler said. "I do it because I enjoy watching the games. I have no financial interest."

Fellow Board of Commissioners member Elaine Paul Schaefer has recused herself from the Villanova votes because she has some financial ties through her husband's business.

But "Being a graduate, being a fan are not legal conflicts," Radnor Township solicitor John Rice told Radnor Patch Monday.

The state ethics statute focuses on pecuniary benefits, Rice said. "I don’t know if it would be an issue," he said of Spingler's volunteerism. "I'm not aware that there’s any legal conflict."

Rice said that when it comes to leaders in government, "People tend to think just because you’re biased it’s a legal conflict." (To be clear, Rice was speaking in generalities and not claiming that Spingler has a bias.)

Spingler is not the only member of the Board of Commissioners with Villanova ties. John Fisher holds a degree from Villanova University, and Don Curley has taught and has worked as a researcher at Villanova, according to their bios.

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