Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner and County Council President Bud Otis sent correspondence to the Frederick County Ethics Commission expressing their “strong disagreement” regarding the May 12, 2015, Ethics Commission Opinion (No. 15-01) permitting an elected County Council Member’s private business to bid and perform work on Frederick County Governmental capital improvements projects or contracts.
According to the opinion, an un-named county council member requested an opinion from the Ethics Commission. One can deduce that the member involved is Kirby Delauter, as the opinion states that it had already ruled on the matter when the member was a County Commissioner. Kirby Delauter represents Glade Valley as the elected representative of the Fifth County Council District for Frederick County.
Citing the lack of oversight of employees, the Ethics Commission found that Mr. Delauter’s company would be permitted to bid and work on county contracts if it were the successful bidder. They noted the low salary of a County Council Member assumes outside employment. They did not mention the fact that two of the County Council members work as teachers for Frederick County Public Schools.
Both the County Executive and County Council President wrote that the appearance of a conflict alone should preclude Mr. Delauter’s company from working on county projects. They note that council members still interact with employees. They specifically pointed to a recent incident of a County Council member verbally “attacking” a county employee.