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Ethics Panal opinion impacts Superintendent Vote

February 15th, 2017 by WCBC Radio

A source confirmed to WCBC Tuesday morning that the  Allegany County Board of Education last month requested an advisory opinion from the Ethics Panal on the question of whether board member Lorelee Farrell should be permitted to vote on the school superintendent’s new contract- given that she currently is involved in a lawsuit against the board. When WCBC contacted the board for confirmation,  a spokesperson said that policy prohibits public comment on an ethics panal opinion. Although advisory opinions are to be confidential- Mrs Farrell, being the subject of the inquiry, was allowed to comment on the issue during this week’s board meeting. She maintains that she was informed by the panal that she was not allowed to vote  on the contract…

                                                 



Following the vote, Board President Laurie Marchini clarified the position saying that Farrell was not denied the right to vote, that ultimately that was her choice…

                                             



Had Farrell chosen to ignore the advisory opinion and cast a vote, she potentially could have been faced with an ethics violation. Ethics violations,  in some cases,  could lead to expulsion from the board- a decision that would be made at the state level. Board attorney Gary  Hanna has confirmed that  any proceedings before the ethics panel are confidential unless and until a formal complaint has been filed and they have made a final decision and released that decision to the Board.

 

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