The Ethics Commission issued its opinion on Friday.
Frederick, Md (KM) The Frederick County Ethics Commission says Council members Jessica Fitzwater and Jerry Donald can vote on the County Executive’s appointment to the Board of Education. This opinion clears the way for the two to vote on filling the currently vacant seat on the School Board.
The two Council Members asked the Ethics Commission for an advisory opinion as both are employed as teachers by the Frederick County School System. The Commission issued its ruling on Friday. “After consideration of the applicable State and County law, the Commission finds that Advisory Opinion 14-05 controls the issue presented. Accordingly, it is the opinion of the Ethics Commission that the two Council Members are not precluded form voting on whether to confirm the County Executive’s Appointee to the Board of Education.”
The opinion is contained in a news release from the County Council.
County Executive Jan Gardner appointed Lois Jarman to the vacant seat on the Board of Education. The Council needs to vote on the appointment.
If approved, Jarman will replace Ken Kerr, who resigned from the Board of Ed on December 19th, 2018. He was elected as on November 8th as a State Delegate from District 3B. He was sworn into office on Wednesday, January 9th.
Under the Maryland Constitution, an individual cannot hold two elected offices at the same time.
Four years ago, Council Members Fitzwater and Donald requested an Ethics Commission opinion on whether they could vote on the County’s budget which contains funding for the School System. The Commission cleared them to do so.
By Kevin McManus