On Tuesday, the San Jose-based developer Republic Urban Properties requested in a letter to BART that a member of the organization's board of directors, James Fang, step aside from decision-making related to a development near the Millbrae station, amidst claims of conflicts of interest.
The Bay Citizen reported last month that Fang had persuaded the BART board to choose another bidder, Justin Development, for a project on the Millbrae BART Station property in 2011, and that the company's owner, Lawrence Lui, is a friend and campaign contributor to Fang.
BART decided to allow Republic Urban to submit a new bid a few months ago, but Fang failed to inform the Millbrae City Council at a meeting in September the Citizen reported.
“In the public interest, for the benefit of the Millbrae community, and because he has violated the ethical canons of public office, BART Director James Fang must recuse himself from any and all discussions, decision-making and voting on the Millbrae BART Station development,” Scott Emblidge, a legal representative for Republic Urban Properties, said in a press release on Tuesday about the letter to BART.
The release also stated that the mixed-use development that Republic Urban submitted a bid for would be more financially profitable for BART than the hotel that Justin Development submitted would be.
The letter to BART requested that future discussions about the development project be held publically.