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There was nothing in that recitation that would explain why ENCO executives asked him to represent them at City Hall.
"Now I want to say the following very, very clearly, so there'll be no mistake made by reporters or by council members," Dornan read. "Contrary to what has been assumed and asserted, I do not hold a financial interest in ENCO or any other utility service provider. I have not received any compensation as a representative for any utility service provider. And I do not have any contractual agreement with any utility service provider for future compensation."
It was either a perfectly or badly constructed denial for the 30-year English prof, carefully or clumsily limiting as it did the possibility of a financial relationship to the utility company. What, for instance, of the possibility that Dornan's "business," as Agran calls it, was representing ENCO at City Hall for a separate lobbying firm?
Dornan pushed away from the table and headed up the plush carpeted steps of City Hall, heading toward his seat. Shea hurled questions at his back. Dornan sat and then returned for a brief exchange that revealed more than almost anything else might:
"Why would they choose you?" Shea asked.
"You'll have to ask ENCO," Dornan replied calmly.
"Because you're the mayor's right-hand man?"
"No, I'm not," Dornan said, a slight edge on his voice. "There's nothing there."
At 12:41, you could practically hear the ticking.
"Why were you even going to all these meetings with ENCO?" Shea asked.
"Because I was asked."
Shea turned to City Manager Allison Hart. "Has Ed Dornan ever represented that he worked for ENCO?" Shea asked her.
Hart paused. Ticking. She began slowly, recalling a trip to an ENCO facility in Arizona with Agran, Mears and Dornan. "At one point, following the trip to Phoenix, he indicated to me that he had a financial interest in the ENCO organization," she said.
By that time, Ward had already asked for "an independent investigation" of the ENCO deal and of Dornan's role in raising cash for Agran's political campaigns.
Agran did the only thing he could in the face of such challenges: he blamed the Weekly and Mears. "It's nasty out there," he said.
The meeting ended at 1:50 firstname.lastname@example.org