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Blog: 'Oh What a Tangled Web We Weave...'

A partially objective appraisal of the Carroll County commissioner's handling (or mishandling, if you will) of allegations of ethical violations by one of their own.

‘Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive’.

Sir Walter Scott was right-on in describing those-like on the BOC-who thought they could get away with giving Frazier a free pass for her flagrant misuse of county resources (specifically, the e-mail system); and, moreover, giving their blessings for her to proceed with her planned weekly prayer meetings (believing as they obvious did that it clearly  falls within their authority and discretion to do so).

But where it boomeranged and opened them up to widespread public scorn, was when they had the unmitigated gall to attempt to justify their actions, ad absurdum, by claiming (1) that unlike the working stiffs, they are exempt from the county’s communications rules;  (2) that, to quote president Howard, ”it isn’t within the board’s purview to discipline another commissioner;” and lastly, that “they are only accountable to the voters at election time.” 

A more blatant example of a double standard and of that old adage-”Do as I say, not as I do” I haven’t seen since my days in the army, what with the delectable meals being served in the officer’s mess at tables with waiters, and with enlisted men standing in long lines for food slopped onto trays. 

But then again,  there are those who contend that it was the double standard that made this country so great

I can only assume by that autocratic attitude that they harbor the illusion that they can damn well do what they please with impunity, short of being convicted of a felony or for lewd or licentious behavior. 

And as regards Howard’s justification for his complete turnaround would (pardon the gross expression) make a maggot puke, and was a far cry from his negative reaction when he first got wind of what she planned on doing; namely, his questioning, in so many words, the ”appropriateness" of using government space and e-mail for inviting employees to attend the prayer sessions, and that county staff may feel intimidated to attend them, lest they be placed on her blacklist. 

Now, as to why he chose not to turn the matter over to the Ethics Commission (where it rightfully belonged under its mission statement) at that juncture, would be pure conjecture on my part.

But if I were to hazard a guess, I’d say it was because of his concerns that they wouldn’t fully appreciate the sensitivity of bringing one of the commissioners under the gun, and therefore possibly be harsher in rendering a determinations as to her culpability.

And as regards the bigger question as to what caused him to pull in his horns and do a complete turnaround on his initial criticisms of her conduct, I’d bet my bottom dollar that it was largely due to his buying (behind closed doors) Rothschild’s argument, that penalizing one of their own would reflect adversely on the whole board; and damage, perhaps forever more,  the image they’d cultivated as being a close-nit, unified group who works together harmoniously and with the utmost respect for one another. 

That image had, of course, already been shattered during the budget process, when he and Howard went at each other “tooth and nail,” stopping just short of Howard clobbering him on his head with his gavel to shut him up. 

Now, whether or not they realize it, that by approving Frazier holding prayers in the COB raises the obvious question, of if will have the spell over effect of tacitly endorsing their continuing to offering sectarian prayers at the opening of public meetings (typically prayed in Christ name). 

And if so, albeit with the full knowledge that they’d be, in effect, telling the U.S. Supreme Court to bug-off with its dumbass ruling banning sectarian prayers in public buildings.  

It’s of interest to note, that on 1-17-12 it refused to hear an appeal of that ruling by a county’s commissioners in Forsyth  County, GA, thus upholding the lower courts finding "that opening its meetings with a sectarian prayer violates the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution."

You’d think suing the state over its redistricting plan is more than enough battles to fight, without engaging in a war on two fronts with the nation’s highest court. To which, I’m sure Frazier would say, I will fight that anti-God, devil inspired ruling till I draw my last breath.

Move over on the shelf Don Quixote. You’re not the only one who fought windmills.

In closing,  I would only say, that I can hardly wait for her to embark on yet another crusade, which undoubtedly will be to restart her much maligned program from her first term, designed to instill positive character traits (at the rate of one per month) in the minds and hearts of the employee force, regardless of it having previously being the laughing stock throughout the county before its demise.  

Oh well, so much for the fumbles and high jinks by politicians.  

Quote of the week: “Time wounds all heels.” Jane Ace

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Buck Harmon May 23, 2012 at 11:54 AM
Richard, Please answer the question that I asked regarding all employee's having an equal opportunity to attend Carroll County prayer time...you attempt to sound well versed in everything but fall very short in action What if EVERY County employee wants to attend, will those not working in the office bldg. be slighted, or will the BOC take the show on the road to accommodate wannabe prayers working the streets? Please answer Richard..
Buck Harmon May 23, 2012 at 12:04 PM
The Board's decision was very wrong at several levels...ethically being the most, your comment here is a lame effort to attempt to justify yet another poorly thought out action. You were hired to make smart decisions, not smart ass decisions. Pull your head out.
David A. Grand May 23, 2012 at 01:06 PM
It's ironic that he would cite Article 36 of the Marland Constitution to buttress hiis aruument, since the General Assembly only permits secular prayers to be offered before each session, in conformity with the ruling layed down by the U.S. Surpeme Court. In other words, "What's good for the goose iis good for the gander."
David J Iacono May 23, 2012 at 02:13 PM
These right-wing extremists wave the flag, talk of the Constitution, freedom and liberty while undermining and destroying the very thing they say they support. Do as a say, not as I do. We are the privileged. Most important, are commissioners exempt from the very rules they impose on their employees. If so, this has nothing to do with freedom, liberty and personal beliefs. It has everything to do with abuse of power and tyranny. It seems it's time to Occupy Carroll County.
Buck Harmon May 23, 2012 at 02:21 PM
JoAnn, I view the Constitution as sacred in my life...that being said , I view Rothschilds behavior as an insult or mockery to sound Constitutional Government. Actions speak louder than words....this guy turns people off with the rhetoric over substance.
Native May 23, 2012 at 02:44 PM
Right on JoAnn!!
Native May 23, 2012 at 02:46 PM
Thank you Commissioner, you've spelled it out perfectly.
Native May 23, 2012 at 02:46 PM
The voice of reason!
Native May 23, 2012 at 02:47 PM
"Occupy Patch Mob". Now that's funny right there!
Native May 23, 2012 at 02:48 PM
Hey JoAnn, all these naysayers must've read Alinsky's book. Their tactics are right out of it.
David A. Grand May 23, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Give it up folks. For there's nothing that could be said which would change hiis obtuse way of thinking, believiing as he obviouslly does in that medival English concept, that "the king can do no wrong."
Bonnie Grady May 23, 2012 at 06:42 PM
Rothschild said: "The Commissioners are nonetheless held to a strict standard of behavior codified in Section 18 (ETHICS) of the Carroll County Code." Okay, so why is it that when an ethics complaint is filed against YOU, Mr. Commissioners, you bring in your own private attorney to represent you, instead of using the County Attorney to do the job for which we taxpayers pay? And then you sock it to the taxpayers to the tune of $15,000 to have your private attorney (and campaign financial backer, I might add), paid for by the taxpayers. What's ethical about that? And what's ethical about you, sir, taking it upon yourself to REWRITE Carroll County's Code of Ethics AFTER the final draft has already been submitted to the State Ethics Board for their approval? Talk about letting the lunatics run the asylum! Mr. Rothschild, there is nothing ethical about the way you do things. You are a disgrace to public office. If there was a way to have you removed from your position as county commissioner, I would be the first in line to sign the paperwork. You're arrogant, mean-spirited, dishonest, unqualified....shall I go on?
Bonnie Grady May 23, 2012 at 06:43 PM
Ahhh, but the emperor has no clothes!
Buck Harmon May 23, 2012 at 10:06 PM
JoAnn, You nor Rothschild have made an attempt to answer the questions that I have asked on this and other blogs...Why?...answer that and i'll teach you a little bit more about the highest law of the land. Apathetic citizens that read the rhetoric offered by both you and Rothschild tend to stay clear of efforts to restore the Constitution to it's full force. You don't make efforts to teach or share the knowledge that you claim to have of the Constitution, but rather use it as a tool to attempt to justify bad behavior and abuse of power. The Constitution offers protections from tyrant leaders. Rothschild is a tyrant that you choose to follow....did he join the fellowship or something??? If so, he has become a part of the illusion that MUST be pierced.
Buck Harmon May 24, 2012 at 01:02 AM
Jo Ann, You must first earn my respect before I will allow you to insult me. If the claims that you make held any substance, you would not throw a hissy fit each time you're caught spewing baloney. Again JoAnn, Please answer the question asked with regard to the topic...Will all of the Carroll County employee's be able to attend the Carroll County Commissioner Prayer session? THINK before you spew JoAnn....
Buck Harmon May 24, 2012 at 01:04 AM
Or have the BOC simply added more tangle to the web at taxpayer expense?
Native May 24, 2012 at 01:06 AM
Doesn't matter if they do or not. Or course, to be specific, no they won't. The same goes for any kind of "in service" training session that might be held, everyone will not be able to attend. Again, you're making a mountain out of a molehill.
Buck Harmon May 24, 2012 at 01:09 AM
Are you drinking JoAnn ??
Buck Harmon May 24, 2012 at 01:39 AM
JoAnn, Take another sip... I have never made the claim that anyone violated the Constitution by conceiving this prayer time ethics dance... you should take the time to read ...and perhaps absorb some of the posts of others before you go off on an induced tangent with the Constitution blinders on... I can only hope that you are a young gal so that maybe you'll still have time to learn the truth. Ethics go beyond words and numbers...... words and numbers are the perceived excuse or justification for this kind of bad behavior. The ethics dance is very telling..
Buck Harmon May 24, 2012 at 03:14 AM
Sip some more JoAnn...You need to answer the question , not avoid it by attempting to insult me...you are a smoke screen for Rothchild...If you can't answer the question then you must surrender to the truth that the Carroll County Government prayer session is wrong headed. I accept your surrender JoAnn....
Native May 24, 2012 at 03:16 AM
Why ignore me Buck, I already answered it for you?
Buck Harmon May 24, 2012 at 03:22 AM
One more sip JoAnn...where is the claim of a Constitutional violation? Others have said that you have lost you mind...I'm beginning to believe it....
Buck Harmon May 24, 2012 at 03:25 AM
You are not real...your answer is not correct...
Wearedoomedcc May 24, 2012 at 05:40 AM
Ms. Nichols did anyone ever tell you that writing in all caps is inappropriate on the web. It is the equivalent to shouting which really never gets your point across. Maybe you should stop acting like the third grader and stop throwing hissy fits by shouting.
DD May 24, 2012 at 02:38 PM
The actions of Commissioner Frazier were wrong on many levels, especially in that as tax payers we entrust the BOCC to serve as fair and appropriate employers of hundreds of County staff members. In that capacity they should not be placing pressure on County employees to attend a prayer session or worry that if they do not partipate they could lose their job or lose out on promotion opportunities. And the elitist comments from the BOCC expressed here and in their meeting, while disappointing, are sadly not surprising.
Buck Harmon May 24, 2012 at 03:03 PM
Rothschild is using his position as a political stepping stone..... He's running for KING in the next election cycle.....King Rothschild and the land of Carroll....
JoeEldersburg May 24, 2012 at 03:55 PM
You are 100% right Bonnie...the hipocrasy is deafening, as it is from all Tea Party nuts across the country! This BOC is so far from ethical it's ridiculous! They have brought nothing but ridicule and embarrassment to our county since practically the day they took office. They have completely demoralized county government and brought governance to a standstill with all their political shenanigans. They are ego-centric, self-promoting and arrogant. Their many lies are tripping them up and it's only a matter of time before they are forced to commit indictable crimes to cover up their abuses of power. Please keep hounding them to make them accountable for their actions...it's the only hope citizens have of being rid of them after their terms are up in 2014. Unfortunately, they will likely have run the county into the ground by then.
Buck Harmon May 24, 2012 at 11:48 PM
You have already surrendered with lack of fact and refusal to answer a simple question JoAnn. Are you an insane drunk?? I would say that based on your behavior, as one of the Patch Mob that both may very well be accurate.
Buck Harmon May 25, 2012 at 02:17 AM
JoAnn, You seem to be the kind of person that would not do well with anger management classes.....the people there would likely piss you off...and I do like you, just not the way you think sometimes. I believe that you could offer important insight to any topic, you just fly off to quick...like Rothschild and the other Commissioners with pointless comments attempting to re-direct the topic. Very poor ethics...
faretheewell May 28, 2012 at 10:31 AM
As the invite was "secular", and all are welcome to come to pray, might we assume that a satanist will get her/his opportunity to express their religious beliefs at these events as well?

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