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Rohrer apologizes for publicity, absences

June 06, 2000|By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

SMITHSBURG - Smithsburg Councilman Michael T. Rohrer apologized at the Tuesday night Town Council meeting for bringing negative publicity to the town and missing five meetings since January.

Earlier in the day, Rohrer, 33, pleaded guilty in Washington County District Court to one count of driving an uninsured vehicle. Charges of operating an unregistered motor vehicle, displaying expired registration plates and fraudulently falsifying a validation tab were dropped.

With tears in his eyes Rohrer told the council members, "I'm human. I made stupid mistakes."

He said he hoped the matter was settled since he had his day in court.

District Court Judge Noel Spence ordered that he receive 12 points on his driver's license, and fined him $500 plus court costs. A Maryland Department of Motor Vehicles hearing will be held to determine if his license will be suspended or revoked.

He also owes $1,000 of $4,559 in back insurance.

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Smithsburg Police alleged in February that Rohrer made a phony vehicle validation sticker on his home computer and drove since 1996 without insurance.

Rohrer was elected to Town Council in May 1988.

Mayor Tommy Bowers praised Rohrer for his soul searching.

Rohrer asked for the public's forgiveness for his absences from five meetings since January.

He missed the April and May regular meetings and the March and April work sessions.

He also missed a budget workshop on April 11 and has missed some committee meetings, according to town officials.

Rohrer said he needed the time off to find a permanent job. He said he has had several positions since Jan. 1 and "felt I needed to take time to secure a position that would be a lasting one."

Council members receive an annual salary of $1,000 for attending meetings. When asked if he would reimburse the town for his absences, Rohrer walked away without responding.

Town officials said Rohrer had attended meetings regularly prior to January and had previously criticized council members for their absences.

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