The relationship was revealed this morning during a hearing conducted by the city’s Independent Ethics Commission. John Cook, an attorney who has represented Marshall, told the commission that Rivera had been Marshall’s financial adviser at UBS from 2005 to early 2008.
Vice Mayor Larry Small said that information was never shared with council.
“No, he (Rivera) didn’t tell us that,” he said, “He just said that he had no conflict of interest. He said that as a matter of UBS policy, he couldn’t discuss any customers or whether anyone was or wasn’t a customer.”
Small said he could see where the revelation of Rivera’s relationship might raise some concerns.
“You have to remember, that there are two kinds of conflict of interest,” he said. “There’s a de facto conflict, in which you clearly derive some benefit from your actions. And then there are situations that are less clear, where the circumstances that surround you may make it appear that you have a conflict, and even though you may not directly or indirectly benefit, the circumstances may give rise to a public belief that you do have a conflict.”
He also said that Rivera’s failure to either reveal his previous financial relationship with Marshall or to recuse himself from any council decisions involving Marshall or LandCo, would constitute such a conflict “under the standards that I apply to myself.”
“But that’s a decision that every council member has to make,” Small said. “It’s a personal decision. I can’t tell anyone else how to act. I can only apply my own standards to my own actions.”