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Monday, July 31, 2023 - 6:00pm

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Laurel Ethics Commission

Virtual Meeting by Zoom


Monday July 31, 2023

6:00 P.M.


If you wish to provide written testimony on any agenda item, you may send by mail to the Laurel Municipal Center or email to Laura Christoplos at [email protected].



  1. Call to Order


  1. Roll Call
  2. Discussion of Subcommittee review of 2023 candidates Financial Disclosure Statements
  3. General Public Hearing
  4. Adjournment


Meeting Minutes

Tuesday July 31, 2023

Virtual Meeting via Zoom


The Ethics Commission Meeting was called to order at 6:01 PM by Chairman James Hester. Roll was called with Chair Hester, Vice Chair Bardwell, and Commissioners Drake, Lubieniecki, and Scaggs present. Also present were Ethics Commission Counsel Dennis Whitley III, City Administrator Christian L. Pulley, Clerk to the Council Sara Green, Environmental Programs Manager Michele Blair, and Administrative Assistant II Laura Christoplos. Guests present were Chair of the Board of Election Supervisors John Kish, Chief Election Judge, Ward 1 Bill Wellford, Chief Election Judge, Ward 1 Jacki Ricks, City Council member, Ward 1 James Kole, and Mr. Dan Barr.

Alternate Crook was not in attendance.


The Financial Disclosure Statement  (FDS) review subcommittee for 2023 candidates went over their findings. All the offices are being contested, Mayor, Ward 1, Ward 2, and At Large. Sixteen FDS were submitted. Six of them met the requirements of a correctly filled out FDS. The other ten had substantive problems and did not meet the requirements.


Some of the incorrectly done FDS came from people who have repeatedly filled them out incorrectly and/or submitted them late.


Of the five candidates for Mayor one submitted a properly completed FDS. There were substantive problems with the other four. Chair Hester elucidated the different problems on each of the forms. The subcommittee did not investigate the accuracy of the answers. They took the answers at face value. But when someone indicates that they do not have a residence or an income that raises questions.


Three of the four FDS from Ward 1 candidates were properly done. One of the four FDS from Ward 2 candidates were properly done. One of the three FDS for At Large candidates was properly done.


The subcommittee has prepared a draft memo to go to the Board of Election supervisors with the details. The final decision is up to the Board of Election Supervisors.


Several Ethics commissioners voiced their concern that these forms are not being taken seriously, and there are no repercussions for that. They felt it indicated a lack of respect for the City and its processes.


Ms. Lubieniecki was concerned that we want to encourage people to be involved with the City and run for office. She is concerned for those who show disrespect but not illegality. She does not want to discourage people from participating in the process. Mr. Whitley advised that this is a call for the Board of Election Supervisors to make.


The Ethics commission reiterated that they are always available  for help with filling out FDS.


The meeting was adjourned at 6:42 PM.

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