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Ethics Commission report on Commissioner Hooper to be released

Chris Patterson

(11/17/2004) Thurmont's Ethics Commission has reached a decision on the investigation related to Commissioner Wayne Hooper's utility bills and the report should be released shortly, according to the town's attorney.

Town attorney and advisor to the commission Debra Borden of Board and Borden in Frederick said the commission is currently working on its final report.

Mayor Martin Burns said Tuesday he has been advised that the decision is coming soon, but was not aware of what the decision would be.

The original investigation by attorney Board was done at the request of town commissioners when it was learned that Hooper had overdue electric bills totaling the equivalent of about three years of missed payments.

His power was never turned off, while other residents with overdue bills did have their electricity shut off during the same time period.

Town resident John Ashbury requested a review by the town's Ethics Commission because the town's own attorney completed the investigation, which Ashbury contended was a conflict of interest since the town commissioners pay the attorney.

Borden said the commission held two meetings during which the commission met to create policies and procedures in a public session.

The commission interviewed Ashbury, who filed the request for an investigation and reviewed the investigation report by attorney Board, Borden said.

Attorney Board's report found that Hooper did not use the influence of his office to stop his power from being turned off.

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