UPDATE: The Globe reports Bickerstaff is quitting the zoning board.
Mayor Walsh announced this morning he's issued an edict that no city employee or appointed official can participate in a company that is seeking city approval for a marijuana-related business.
The order most immediately would affect Bruce Bickerstaff, a member of the Zoning Board of Appeal, who is part-owner of a company called Silver Therapeutics, which wants to build a pot shop on American Legion Highway in Roslindale. The proposal has yet to come before the zoning board for its required approval, but Bickerstaff has been recusing himself from hearings on other potential marijuana emporiums in Boston.
"I am committed to ensuring this new industry is fair, transparent, and equitable for all who wish to participate in it," Walsh said in a statement.
Walsh's order also bans the family members of city employees and appointees from participation in a pot business that requires city approval.
In case the ban is not clear enough, Walsh's statement adds:
The Office of Economic Development and any other City employees who participate in any grant of approval from the City of Boston, shall consider the participation of any City employee, or their immediate family members, in a marijuana business to be a negative factor that supports denial of approval of that business.
The Zoning Board of Appeal has come under scrutiny of late because of a bribery case involving a BPDA manager who pleaded guilty yesterday to taking money to convince a zoning board member to ensure a positive vote on a small South Boston proposal.
Federal officials have yet to identify, let alone charge, the zoning-board member, but board member Craig Galvin resigned last weekend. Walsh has hired a former federal prosecutor to look at the criminal aspects of the case and separately hired a downtown law firm to examine the overall issue of how Boston development projects are approved.
Separately, Walsh and the City Council tussled over the issue of marijuana-related zoning after his office asked the board to approve two proposed East Boston pot shops closer than the half mile allowed under a zoning condition proposed by the City Council and approved by Walsh.
That led to the board being short several members and alternate members, which has led to a number of applicants seeking deferrals on their hearings to ensure their proposals are heard by a full seven-member board.
Under state law, projects before the board need at least five votes - the board has held several hearings in recent months with just five members present, which means a single "no" vote would be enough to kill a proposal.