Mass. State Senator to Resign Over Ethics Fight

Commission says his stake in an airline company is a conflict of interest


A Massachusetts state senator who founded the regional airline Cape Air and remains its chief executive said Thursday he would resign his seat and suspend his gubernatorial bid while he fights an ethics decision concerning his business with the state.

Democratic state Sen. Dan Wolf, who was elected in 2010 to represent Cape Cod and the swanky summer colonies of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket, said he disagreed with a recent ruling that his business interests conflict with his political position.

Earlier this month, the state ethics commission ruled that Mr. Wolf's spot in the Legislature violated conflict-of-interest laws because Cape Air has a contract with the Massachusetts Port Authority to operate out of Logan Airport. The commission ruled that in order to comply with state law, Mr. Wolf would have to shed his holdings in Cape Air, terminate Cape Air's Logan contracts or step down from elected office. Mr. Wolf has at least a 23% ownership in the airline, the ruling stated.

Mr. Wolf said in a letter to supporters Thursday that the ethics commission has been aware for several years of his stake in Cape Air. "Nothing in their ruling in any way implies that I have acted or voted improperly as a state senator, only that Cape Air's use of Logan violates the letter of the law."