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Tue Apr 22, 2014, 04:24 AM

Zoo Museum Board member's company wins Science Center contract

ST. LOUIS • The St. Louis Science Center has awarded a building design contract worth tens of thousands of dollars to a board member of the regional Zoo-Museum District, which sends the Science Center $10 million a year in tax money.

Pat Whitaker, founder and chairman of the area design and architecture firm Arcturis, publicly disclosed Monday that Arcturis had won a contract to design a $1.2 million to $2.5 million pavilion at the center. Whitaker said the team would earn 10 percent of that, and Arcturis’ share should be $45,000 to $100,000.

Other Zoo-Museum District directors immediately denounced Whitaker’s dual role and questioned why she hadn’t recused herself from a vote last month setting the preliminary tax rate for the Science Center. Some called on her to step down.

“If you knew you had a bid out, to me that’s a conflict right there,” said board member Gloria Wessels. “It invites a lack of public trust in the eyes of the taxpayer.”

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/zoo-museum-board-member-s-company-wins-science-center-contract/article_f941034f-daf8-57bd-917f-d17ccc9afc22.html

Looks like a conflict of interest to me, but just my opinion.

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