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Ethics board discusses complaint against Parson-McBean

March 11, 2006|By DANIEL J. SERNOVITZ

HAGERSTOWN

The Washington County Ethics Commission deliberated for more than an hour Friday afternoon over allegations that Hagerstown City Councilwoman Alesia D. Parson-McBean violated the city's ethics code by her actions following a traffic stop in late January.

On Tuesday, former mayoral candidate Anthony T. Campello filed an ethics complaint alleging Parson-McBean breached the city's ethics code in allowing the Hagerstown Police Department to not give her a $60 ticket for driving a vehicle with expired registration and for asking police Lt. William C. Wright to drive her to the Motor Vehicle Administration office off Sharpsburg Pike to renew her registration.

The five-member ethics commission, appointed by the Washington County Commissioners, met for an hour and 15 minutes to discuss the matter. The session was closed to members of the public, and Parson-McBean did not attend.

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Members of the commission declined to comment following the session. Commission Chairwoman Dana Moylan said only that a member of the commission will draft an opinion on the matter and will circulate it among the other members before making it public.

County Attorney Richard Douglas, who oversees the advisory body, said he expects a draft of the opinion will be written within the next few days. He said the commission has two other matters pending before it, but it will place priority on the Parson-McBean matter and will publish its opinion as soon as possible.

Douglas has said the commission, as an entity of the county, does not have authority to impose sanctions if it finds Parson-McBean in violation of the city's ethics code. He said the city will have to decide what, if anything, it wishes to do in that case.

A city official or employee found to have violated the ethics code "may be subject to disciplinary or other appropriate personnel action, including suspension of City salary or other compensation," the ethics code states.

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