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Fishing nonprofit hires Harshbarger to look into alleged conflicts of interest

Under fire for potential conflicts of interest that may have created unfair business advantages, the Gloucester Fishing Community Preservation Fund has hired L. Scott Harshbarger, a former Massachusetts attorney general, to conduct an investigation into the way it operates.

Last month, the five-year-old nonprofit said it had hired Harshbarger, senior counsel in the Boston office of global law firm Proskauer, to investigate what it calls “vague but serious allegations” made in a February letter from two local state legislators, Senator Bruce Tarr and Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante. According to the letter, the legislators had received complaints from others in the fishing industry about “conflicts of interest and unfair business advantages” for some of those involved with the fund, notably president Vito Giacalone.

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