Friday, April 10, 2009

Conflict of Interest? What's That?

Posted By on Fri, Apr 10, 2009 at 5:35 AM

click to enlarge Rep. Phillip Johnson: What a happy guy!
  • Rep. Phillip Johnson: What a happy guy!
Rep. Phillip Johnson, R-Pegram, is looking out for No. 1 in Nashville. He's a home inspector, and this session he's pushing two bills to help that business.

One would establish a one-year statute of limitations for consumers to file lawsuits against home inspectors to recover damages for doing a lousy job. The other requires all appointees to the state Home Inspection Advisory Committee, which helps advise officials on policies regulating the industry, to be licensed home inspectors. Isn't that a great idea?

That second bill came up before the House yesterday, and Johnson stood proudly in the chamber as the sponsor. He neglected to declare a conflict of interest, as House rules dictate, and didn't really seem to care when Rep. Gary Moore, D-Joelton, pointed it out.

"Aren't you in the home inspecting business?" Moore asked Johnson.

"I am," Johnson said.

"I believe if I were you I'd have gotten somebody else to carry my piece of legislation for me. .. It would appear anyway to be somewhat of a conflict of interest."

"Yeah," Johnson said, at which point the House passed his bill by a vote of 93-0. So much for those annoying ethical considerations.

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