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Council requests charter check

July 25, 2000

Council requests charter check



SMITHSBURG - The Smithsburg Town Council has asked the town's attorney to interpret the town charter regarding the hiring of personnel.

Councilman Jerome Martin said during a Tuesday work session that he reviewed the charter and believed it called for applicants for town jobs to be appointed by the mayor and approved by the Town Council.

Under his interpretation, council members should vote on whether Ralf Berger should remain as the town's police chief, he said.

Mayor Tommy Bowers said the previous Town Council had already voted to approve Berger pending the completion of a background check.

Berger was found guilty of several administrative charges while employed by the Frederick County Sheriff's Office. He was not charged criminally.

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He was sworn in as chief in March and since then has earned the praise of council members for his work performance.

Attorney William Wantz said he would review the exact wording of the motion under which Berger was hired as well as the charter to determine whether the background check results would require another vote.

Bowers said he would call an executive session at the August Town Council meeting to allow council members to read the report.

Wantz said he would present a letter to council regarding the contents of the background check and point out the most significant issues to the town.

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