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Former ENS director of operations may remain at foundation after voting against his own removal


Many members of the Ethereum Name Service’s decentralized autonomous organization have voted in favor of allowing recently removed director of operations Brantly Millegan to stay on as the ENS Foundation director.

According to a tally of roughly 2.4 million ENS DAO users recorded as of Thursday, more than one million are against removing Millegan as director of the ENS Foundation. The users account for more than 42% of the vote, with 28.61% voting in favor of removing the ENS director and 29.29% abstaining with two days remaining to submit.

“The DAO shall decide whether Brantly Millegan is deemed capable, or otherwise, of continuing his role as the Director of the Foundation Company, and to appoint a suitable replacement if he is deemed incapable,” said the proposal.

However, many users pointed out that the DAO governance model was seemingly flawed when dealing with a decision affecting its leadership. Millegan used more than 363,000 tokens to vote against his own removal, many of which were delegated by DAO users prior to the controversy. ENS founder and developer Nick Johnson voted to abstain with roughly 253,000 tokens he controlled.

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If the majority of the DAO users end up voting in favor of Millegan’s removal, a community proposal electing a new director would be effective immediately. The nominees include ENS co-founder Alex Van de Sande, and users under the names daylon.eth and healingvisions.eth.

“We can’t let someone who is bigoted about a marginalized community stay the figurehead of a large web3 organization,” said healingvisions.eth on Twitter while encouraging DAO members to vote for Millegan’s removal.

Eleftherios Karapetsas, an ENS delegate, hinted he would vote against removing Millegan as ENS director, but wanted to hear from the DAO community:

The vote was prompted by users uncovering anti-LBGTQIA tweets posted by Millegan in May 2016, in which he said “homosexual acts are evil” and “transgenderism doesn’t exist.” In replies and posts to his Twitter account, Millegan stood by his 2016 remarks, implying they were in accordance with his Catholic beliefs. Seemingly in response to outrage from many users online, Johnson announced on Feb. 7 that True Names Limited — the nonprofit behind ENS — had terminated Millegan’s contract.

Millegan claimed in a Discord discussion that he had “never excluded anyone from ENS” based on their identity or beliefs and said it wasn’t “practical or moral for the Web3 industry to exclude the many traditional-minded Christians, Muslims, Jews and others” who agreed with him. Twitter deleted the homophobic tweets and suspended Millegan’s account. At the time of publication, it’s unclear if he has the ability to tweet, like, and retweet content, but there have been no updates on his account since Feb. 5.

Related: ENS’ director of operations says that DAO-based governance ‘has always been the plan’

Launched in 2017, the ENS protocol allows users to register domain names ending in “.eth” and direct them to Ethereum wallet addresses. According to data from CoinMarketCap, the price of the ENS token has fallen more than 4% in the last 24 hours to reach $14.14 at the time of publication.

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