(5/20) The Frederick County Ethics Commission issued Opinion 13-02 today in response to a complaint against Commissioner Kirby Delauter of the Frederick Board of County Commissioners in which it found that there was no conflict of interest violation of the County’s Ethics Ordinance.
The complaint alleged that it was a conflict of interest for Commissioner Delauter’s company, W.F. Delauter & Son, to participate in projects which were supervised by Frederick County Government employees.
The opinion stated, "After reviewing the complaint and the record and listening to the testimony at the hearing, it appears that there is little, if any, dispute over the material facts . . . The commission agrees that an overly rigid application of the ordinance would be unwise and not in the public interest . . . it is unrealistic for the commission to follow an
ultra-conservative approach to interpretation of the Ethics Ordinance’s conflict of interest provisions, recognizing that public officials will often have business ties with others in the community . . . The Ethics Commission finds that the commissioner has not violated the Ethics Ordinance as alleged."
Upon reviewing the opinion today, Board President Blaine Young commented, "We applaud the Ethics Commission for taking a stand in favor of Commissioner Delauter. I had no doubt, but am nonetheless pleased to learn that he has been vindicated and has done nothing against the Ethics Ordinance. Hopefully, this opinion will bring an end to politically driven absurd complaints,
and proves that the commissioners are operating above board. The reality is that all complaints were dismissed because there was no wrong doing.
"Commissioner Delauter has proactively sought the input of the Frederick County Attorney’s Office with regard to any conflict of interest issues related to his public service as a county commissioner. He has been transparent and open in these matters. I am glad to see that a small business owner such as Mr. Delauter is justified in his defense over his leadership role in
Commissioner Delauter was raised in Frederick County, graduated from Catoctin High School and is a veteran of the U.S. Army. He worked within the construction industry, and in 1993 purchased the family business, W.F. Delauter and Son, Inc., with current business partner Carl Athey. The business was started in 1955 by Kirby’s grandfather, Willie F. Delauter, and his father,
Russell Delauter. The business continues to operate today doing projects in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
For additional information, contact Senior Assistant County Attorney Linda Thall, Frederick County Attorney’s Office at 301-600-1633 or via e-mail at lthall@FrederickCountyMD.gov.