Q&A: Conflict of Interest

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Q. We have a member of the board of trustees of our co-op village who is a licensed realtor. Is he legally restricted from listing or selling units that are owned by the village, due to a conflict of interest? Also, is a board legally restricted from nepotism? Our board has hired the sister of one of the trustees as an office worker.

                                          —Suspicious

A. “Co-ops are governed by a proprietary lease and bylaws,” says Princeton-based attorney Elysa Bergenfeld, partner in the Community Association Practice Group of New Jersey law firm Ansell Grimm & Aaron PC. “Unless there are restrictions in either, such is likely not prohibited. Generally, a co-op can also hire a relative of a board member so long as the relationship has been disclosed and the hiring of the position/person was done properly otherwise.” 

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