Former ENS director of operations remains at foundation after voting against his own removal
Brantly Millegan will be staying on as the director of the Ethereum Name Service Foundation after casting more than 363,300 votes against a decentralized autonomous organization proposal to remove him.
According to a tally of roughly 3.7 million ENS DAO votes recorded at the end of the voting period on March 5, more than 1.6 million were against removing Millegan as director of the ENS Foundation — 43.39% of the vote. More than 698,000 votes abstained from the proposal, while roughly 1.4 million votes were in favor of Millegan’s removal — 19.1% and 37.51%, respectively.
The controversial #ENS vote that ended Saturday, broken down by delegated voting power.
(reposted as there was an error in the first) pic.twitter.com/s7MaAoHniA
— Alex Van de Sande (avsa.eth) (@avsa) March 7, 2022
However, many DAO users noted that Millegan used more than 363,000 tokens to vote against his own removal, which tipped the total in his favor. Many of the votes were delegated by DAO users prior to the controversy that precipitated the vote, in which Millegan stood by tweets he posted in May 2016 with anti-LBGTQIA statements including “homosexual acts are evil” and “transgenderism doesn’t exist.” The former ENS director of operations said the tweets were in accordance with his Catholic faith.
“Ultimately, Brantly chose not to abstain from this vote and voted Against isn’t neutral either,” said DAO member Eric Hu, who voted for Millegan’s removal. “He falls short even of his own ideals […] For all the talk about credible neutrality and building infrastructure, this would have been the time to abstain, but he chose self-preservation.”
This infrastructure is too crucial for what could be the next chapter of the internet. Regardless of his beliefs, he’s just exhibited bad leadership in an already contentious space which satisfies grounds for removal already. The horrible politics has merely revealed the bad fit.
— Eric Hu (@_EricHu) March 5, 2022
Some claimed that the DAO governance model was flawed when dealing with a decision affecting its leadership. While ENS founder and developer Nick Johnson announced on Feb. 7 that True Names Limited — the nonprofit behind ENS — had terminated Millegan’s contract as director of operations, he voted in the DAO to abstain with the roughly 253,000 tokens he controlled.
“Brantly voting is a clear conflict of interest, regardless if he votes on behalf of his delegates,” said Niel de la Rouviere on Twitter. “In this case, his delegates should have voted as themselves. Directors voting on their own removal is completely broken.”
Others, including ENS co-founder Alex Van de Sande, argued that users “had plenty of opportunity to redelegate” their votes prior to the proposal for Millegan’s removal. However, some reported issues with transaction failures when they tried to change their delegation settings. At the time of publication, it’s unclear if Millegan has commented on the vote, but there has been no new activity on his Twitter account since his suspension on Feb. 5.
“I am disappointed to see many other delegates talk themselves into circles about “neutrality” regarding this issue,” said Jeff Coleman on Twitter. “Accepting or even endorsing an unjust status quo is not neutrality. I think we can and should do better.”
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 roughly 8.6% since voting ended on March 5, from $15.00 to $13.71 at the time of publication.