NEWPORT BEACH — In an abrupt announcement Tuesday night, Planning Commissioner Robert Hawkins resigned and said he has filed ethics complaints against two city councilmen.
Citing alleged conflicts of interest by Mike Henn and Rush Hill, in addition to other city planning controversies, Hawkins said he felt he could no longer serve.
The two councilmen recently recused themselves from discussions about revitalizing different parts of the city — Lido Village for Henn and West Newport for Hill — because they have financial ties to properties or businesses in those districts. On Tuesday, the City Council was asked to approve recommended plans to rehabilitate the areas.
"Those conflicts infect the entire results of those recommendations," Hawkins said in his resignation announcement given during the City Council meeting's public comments section.
He argued that the councilmen's early participation, before they recused themselves, tainted the entire process. Hawkins also cited instances when the City Council overturned Planning Commission decisions, and another time when some council members criticized his actions.