Saturday, January 5, 2013

Ervin: "There's nothing secret." So, here it is!

Guest Post

Examiner:  MontCo lawmaker denies 'secret' contract

Here is document Ervin says is not a secret.

Examiner:  MontCo lawmaker denies "secret" contract

2 comments:

  1. Fascinating reading. Unlike the council and planning Board Chair Carrier, we have not seen it before. I wonder when our 'progressive, transparent' government was planning to tell the citizens of this county about this move to 'streamline' the planning process. Maybe they can spend the $1.3million in secret too.

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  2. For Immediate Release

    January 4, 2013

    Contact: Gino Renne 240-876-7701

    UFCW Local 1994 MCGEO has made a formal request for County Inspector General Edward Blansitt to investigate possible ethics violations and conflict of interest in Ms. Ervin’s dealings with real estate investor and developer Chris McGoff.

    Ms. Ervin was pursuing a contract with Mr. McGoff’s firm, The Clearing, Inc., to overhaul the planning and zoning process in the County. The contract would have cost the county $1.3 million in taxpayer funds if put in place, and clearly would have benefited Mr. McGoff in his real estate dealings. Ms. Ervin did not make her communications with Mr. McGoff public and her involvement with him was only recently revealed.

    In 2009, Ms. Ervin said, “County taxpayers deserve accountability and transparency from county government,” after she sponsored and passed a bill to enhance the county’s ability to prosecute potential cases of “fraud, waste, and abuse by preventing potential conflicts of interest.” (Montgomery County Government, press release, 11/17/2009.)

    According to County ethics law:

    Our system of representative government depends in part on the people maintaining the highest trust in their officials and employees. The people have a right to public officials and employees who are impartial and use independent judgment.

    The confidence and trust of the people erodes when the conduct of County business is subject to improper influence or even the appearance of improper influence.

    Local 1994 is asking the IG to investigate whether Ms. Ervin’s activities in pushing for the single-source, no bid contract is a violation of county ethics code.

    “Ms. Ervin is trying to underhandedly spend much-needed county funds to help a wealthy county developer,” said UFCW Local 1994 President Gino Renne. “Meanwhile, our members, many of whom work at the Park and Planning Commission, have faced years of austerity, gone years without a pay raise, seen increases in their health care costs. Ms. Ervin’s back door maneuvering to have an outside contractor come in and write policy to the tune of $1.3 in taxpayer funds, aside from being unethical, is another smack in their face.”

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