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County's ethics commission investigates complaints

March 11, 2006|By DANIEL J. SERNOVITZ

HAGERSTOWN

The Washington County Ethics Commission convened Friday afternoon for its first official session since 2003 to consider whether a Hagerstown city councilwoman violated the city's ethics code, County Attorney Richard Douglas said.

Hagerstown resident Anthony T. Campello filed an ethics complaint Tuesday alleging Councilwoman Alesia D. Parson-McBean violated the city's ethics code by allowing the Hagerstown Police Department to not issue her a ticket Jan. 20 after she was stopped for driving a vehicle with expired registration.

Campello, a former candidate for mayor of Hagerstown, claimed Parson-McBean committed a second violation by asking a police lieutenant to drive her to the Motor Vehicle Administration office off Sharpsburg Pike to renew her registration.

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Douglas, who oversees the five-member advisory board appointed by the Washington County Commissioners, said the commission last met as a body in 2003 to review a personnel case involving a member of the county's Plumbing Board. He said in that case, the commission ruled the member could continue to serve on the board even though he worked for a company that does business with Washington County, but had to abstain from any matters involving that company.

The ethics commission is chaired by Dana Moylan, a lawyer who also serves as president of the board of directors for the Humane Society of Washington County and as a member of the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission's board of directors. She was appointed to the ethics commission in 2001, and her current term expires Aug. 31, 2007.

Other members of the commission are:

John Venditta,

associate director of Western Maryland Public Libraries, who was appointed to the commission in 2004.

Natalie Rook,

president of the Washington County Commission for Women, who was appointed to the ethics commission in 2003.

Scott L. Schubel,

a lawyer who also serves on the county's Water Quality Advisory Commission, who was appointed to the ethics commission in 2003.

Daniel Murphy,

mayor of the Town of Hancock, who was appointed to the commission in 1999.

In 1997, the commission ruled three Washington County officials did not violate the county's ethics ordinance by accepting tickets to The Masters golf tournament from a firm that invested the county's pension fund. Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook, County Administrator Rodney Shoop and former Human Resources Director Alan Davis accepted tickets to The Masters from INVESCO Capital Management Inc., but, according to published reports, paid $100 for their tickets and $100 per day for their food and lodging.

In 1998, Hagerstown Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II asked the commission to decide if the city could buy a pickup truck from his employer, Hagerstown Ford Co. Hagerstown Ford submitted the lowest bid for the truck, at $18,725, and the commission ruled Bruchey, then manager of the company's fleet department, was removed, and did not stand to gain financially, from the transaction.

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