While I can understand the focus on Joanne Yepsen regarding the issue of conflict of interest and recusal, I think a balanced view needs to scrutinize Saratoga Hospital’s role in this story.
Based on the documents, Joanne Yepsen initiated the contacts regarding doing work for the hospital. Nevertheless, the hospital management had to be acutely aware of the Saratoga Springs City Council’s role in deciding on their proposed PUD. It pushes the limits of credibility that when the mayor of your city contacts your organization about doing work, that you are not aware of the effect that relationship can have on an issued before the Council. The relationship was not brief. It began in October with the first lunch meeting and ended in mid January. Is it possible that Ms. Raimo, with the title of Vice President of Community Engagement, was oblivious to the ramifications of this relationship for months? Is it possible that she saw no need to discuss this with Angelo Carbone, the CEO of the hospital? It is possible of course, but is it likely?
The other interesting question is: What happened just before January 14th that caused the hospital to suddenly realize the potential damage that a contract with the mayor would have and to end the negotiations?
All of this in no way excuses Mayor Yepsen’s behavior but it is important not to overlook the hospital’s role as well.