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Town manager Logan receives reprimand

January 16, 2004|by TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

A copy of a ruling that states Hancock Town Manager Larry Logan violated a town ethics law will be placed in Logan's personnel file, an action that will serve as the "formal reprimand" recommended by the Hancock Ethics Commission.

The Hancock Ethics Commission recently ruled that Logan violated town law when he wrote a Jan. 25, 2003, letter criticizing Councilman Darwin Mills, who was running for mayor against incumbent Mayor Daniel A. Murphy.

Hancock resident Edward L. James filed the complaint against Logan.

The commission decided Logan violated a section of the Hancock Ethics Law that "prohibits officials and employees who are subject to the ordinance from using the prestige of their office for their own benefit or that of another."

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The commission recommended the Town Council give Logan a formal reprimand.

The council on Wednesday night voted unanimously to accept the Ethics Commission ruling.

After the vote, Mills asked when the council would talk about what Logan's reprimand would be and whether that discussion would be in closed session.

Murphy said the action to accept the Ethics Commission's ruling was the reprimand, and that a copy of the commission's decision will be placed in Logan's file.

Before the vote Wednesday night, Hancock resident Frank Courtney asked the council to dismiss Logan as manager.

Courtney, who ran for Town Council in the election, also was mentioned in Logan's Jan. 25 letter.

Logan claimed in the letter that Mills and Courtney harassed two town employees shortly before the election.

Courtney and Mills have said publicly several times, including at town meetings, that the claim was untrue.

Hancock resident Sinclair Hamilton said Wednesday that Logan's actions didn't warrant spending tax dollars on an Ethics Commission review.

Murphy said the town spent money on legal fees so the matter could be heard by the ethics commission.

Logan wrote in the letter that he could never work for Mills and that the town would be looking for a new manager if Mills were elected mayor.

Mills lost to Murphy by 44 votes.

Logan's letter followed comments made by Mills in a Jan. 25 story in The Herald-Mail about the town issuing untaxed benefits checks to several employees who had opted out of Hancock's health insurance program.

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