Ongoing deliberation over a possible ethics violation on the West Tisbury affordable housing committee flared up once again at a town select board meeting Wednesday.

The issue centers on the town’s housing committee chair Jefrey DuBard. Mr. DuBard also serves on the board of Island Housing Trust, which was awarded a town contract to develop affordable housing at 401 State Road last August.

Concerns have since been raised over whether Mr. DuBard committed a conflict of interest violation by participating in housing committee discussions on the trust project.

At previous meetings, Mr. DuBard had claimed to have recused himself from discussions related to the projects, said select board chair Jeffrey (Skipper) Manter at Wednesday’s meeting.

“You told us that you don’t vote, and you don’t talk,” Mr. Manter said. “The minutes of those committees reflect something different than what you told us, and I’m concerned about that.”

Town administrator Jennifer Rand said that, out of nine meetings she reviewed where the committee discussed 401 State Road since 2022, Mr. DuBard only recused himself from a June meeting where the contract was awarded, and that he took a vote on the project this January.

“I am concerned about the town’s exposure in this,” she said.

According to minutes of the affordable housing committee available on the town website, Mr. Dubard did recused himself from a committee vote in August 2022 when the committee voted to award IHT the contract, as well as a meeting on the issue in June.

Minutes of a Jan. 24, 2023 affordable housing committee show that Mr. DuBard did second a motion supporting the creation of three two-bedroom units and five one-bedroom units at 401 State Road at a meeting with project design firm Union Studios.

The minutes also record that all seven committee members voted unanimously on other motions during that meeting, with Mr. DuBard being present.

At Wednesday’s meeting, Mr. DuBard said he began recusing himself from the discussions after he learned of the potential ethics violation, and that he also always prefaced discussions by talking about his role at the housing trust.

“This vote that Jen is speaking of, I don’t recall,” he said. “There has not been an occasion where, if I made a comment during a discussion, I didn’t preface it by saying…whatever my other affiliations were."

In a statement to the Gazette, Mr. DuBard said he regretted that he was not more mindful of the conflict. He added that he is not compensated in any way and has no personal financial interest as a result of either role. His only interest is in providing greater security and solutions to the Island’s housing crisis, he said. 

“Although I genuinely did not think I had acted inappropriately, I was wrong to participate. I have spoken with and self-reported to the State Ethics Committee and will accept any actions that they and the West Tisbury select board choose to take,” Mr. DuBard said in the statement. “Both the West Tisbury affordable housing committee and Island Housing Trust are vital and honorable organizations. I hope this will not reflect on any of the great and life changing work that they each do. It is a privilege and great responsibility to serve.”

The board voted to continue the discussion to next week.

“Τhe sooner we resolve this, or come to a resolution, is better for all the parties involved,” Mr. Manter said.