Pleasanton council members spar over conflict-of-interest accusation

Updated: Mar 24

PLEASANTON – Pleasanton Council Member Jake Mattingley during a council meeting on

Monday, Feb. 28, made the charge that fellow Council Member Rochelle Schreckhise created a conflict of interest in trying to recruit a veterinarian to conduct the city’s animal vaccination clinic.

He said that Schreckhise talked to two city employees about getting a veterinarian from the All Creatures Animal Hospital to conduct the clinic. Mattingley charged that Schreckhise stood to benefit from the city using that veterinarian because her daughter worked there.

Schreckhise denied that there was any conflict of interest and that her family would have no monetary gain if that veterinarian was used. She said that her conversations with the veterinarian had been about the vet doing the clinic for free.

Mattingley asked that statements be taken from the two city employees about their conversations and that those statement be turned over for investigation.

In a separate interview City Manager Theresa Whitaker said that Schreckhise’s actions likely did not violate statutes or rules. However, she did say that council members need to be mindful that their actions sometimes could be misconstrued by the public.

At Monday’s meeting, Mattingley also charged that Shreckhise had published misleading information and lies in Facebook posts.

Schreckhise said she posted that the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds could be used to work on city streets. She also posted that a quitclaim deed for the property where the city plans to build a structure that could be used as a restaurant limits the type of food that can be served so it doesn’t compete with the Casey’s General Store nearby.

She said she had researched how and had discussed the ARPA requirements with Linn County Economic Development Director Jessica Hightower. She also noted that rules on spending ARPA funds have changed over the past few weeks.

Initially, ARPA funds were to be used for expenses connected to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, recent changes have allowed cities and counties to consider those funds as making up for lost revenue and allowing the money to be used as those local governments saw fit. That would include spending on streets and infrastructure.

In a statement, Shreckhise said, “I want to see progress, but think we may have lost out on an opportunity to have gotten some of our infrastructure and streets repaired.”

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