NEW BEDFORD - Ward Three City Councillor Henry Bousquet has announced his resignation.

Bousquet, also a culinary instructor at Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech High School, had been serving as a councillor for nearly three years without pay due to a conflict of interest law, which he cited as one of the reasons for his resignation. "I hope you can agree that throughout all this I've remained an accessible, responsive, and hard-working representative, despite receiving no benefits for the taxpayers for those efforts," Bousquet said Friday, reading from a prepared statement.

Bousquet says he's going to pursue further opportunities with Voc-Tech which require additional schooling, while spending more time with his family. Councillor at Large Linda Morad said it's a shame a technicality had to come to this. "My heart breaks for him because I know how much he loves the job, and he's damn good at it," expressed Morad.

Bousquet had unsuccessfully tried to get the conflict of interest ruling overturned in the state legislature. Ward Two Councillor Steven Martins says Bousquet pleaded his case before the State several times. "It's unfortunate that the legislators didn't take the bill up, because we lost a really good man today in City government and that's unfortunate," said Martins.

Bousquet was first sworn into the council in 2012. His resignation is effective February 1.

Election Commissioner Maria Tomasia says considering there's an upcoming City election this year, the Ward Three seat will likely remain vacant until that time.

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