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Poll: Did Frazier Violate the Ethics Ordinance?

A local political organization has filed a formal complaint with the county ethics commission over a commissioner's use of county resources to invite county employees to pray with her.

The Carroll County Democratic Central Committee (CCDCC) has filed a formal complaint with the Carroll County Ethics Board, charging that Commissioner Robin Bartlett Frazier and County Clerk Shawn Reese violated the county ethics ordinance.

In early May, Reese sent an email on Frazier's behalf inviting county employees to pray with her at 12:30 p.m. on Thursdays in the county office building.

The organization is asking the Ethics Board to request that Frazier postpone the first scheduled "prayer time" on June 7 until the "issue is resolved."

Commissioner Doug Howard initially voiced reservations about Frazier's use of the county email system for non-business communications. Then last week Howard said that disciplining Frazier is not "within the board's purview."

On May 17 the Board of Commissioners allowing county employees to use the county office building for personal reasons on their own time such as during lunch or after business hours.

The complaint, submitted to the Ethics Commission on May 22, cited three instances in which the CCDCC said Frazier violated the county employee ethics ordinance and business communications policy.

It cited Frazier's use of the county email system to send the prayer invitation, her action directing a county employee to violate the business communications policy and her alleged misuse of elective office to impose her personal beliefs on her employees.

The complaint reads, "We believe that Commissioner Robin Frazier has violated The County Ethics Ordinance by misusing her elective office to promote her personal beliefs upon the very county employees whose paychecks she signs; potentially influencing the careers of many employees by placing them at risk depending on whether they choose to show favor to Commissioner Frazier by appearing at her slated prayer sessions."

Commissioner Richard Rothschild about the prayer issue.

"Internal policies of gov't are created at the pleasure of the Commissioners, and are subject to reasonable interpretation & enforcement by the Board. To that end, they are created by us, for our employees," he wrote.

He said the board's decision was legally and ethically correct.

Did Frazier overstep her bounds in using a county employee and county resources to invite county employees to pray with her? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

Native May 24, 2012 at 12:07 AM
"Occupy Patch Mob" LOL
Kym Byrnes (Editor) May 24, 2012 at 05:49 AM
Hi Bonnie. I don't have it handy and I'm assuming you do so you can just upload it by clicking on Upload Photos and Videos. It should allow you to post it. If you have trouble, let me know and I'll add it. Good idea, thanks.
Alissa May 24, 2012 at 12:17 PM
JoAnn, what are you talking about?
EBurger May 24, 2012 at 12:32 PM
Therefore, the Commissioners should not have anyone email county employees and invite them to a Christmas party (Winter Celebration?). And if so, employees better attend for their job security. Is this really where the "Occupy Patch Dozen" chooses to focus all there energy. Have they moved on from MileageGate?
Native May 24, 2012 at 12:35 PM
Don't you know why the poll is so slanted? The only democrats in Carroll County are on Patch! LOL
EBurger May 24, 2012 at 01:37 PM
I sure hope that President Obama did not email Carroll County about his recent proclamation of a National Day of Prayer.
David J Iacono May 24, 2012 at 02:04 PM
When right-wing extremists like Nicholls have no facts to back up their claims, they turn to name calling and personal attacks. A predictable Republican strategy in Carroll County. These folks never let the facts get in the way of their distorted thinking.
EBurger May 24, 2012 at 02:17 PM
And don't forget David...as you have said.....we hate women, gays, children, elderly, blacks and all minorities.
Buck Harmon May 24, 2012 at 02:52 PM
JoAnn, You are really one of us....you're just in Patch Mob denial, otherwise you would just go away to the Pump Up Bad Behavior type of blog. It's intoxicating for you....
Buck Harmon May 24, 2012 at 02:57 PM
A one day celebration is not the same as an on going religious mission...for political reasons...sure doesn't feel like dozens based on the poll....Tea Tote'll Two perhaps...(no names) not included...
EBurger May 24, 2012 at 03:53 PM
Thanks for clarifying...I was not aware of all the specific guidelines. I did not know that prayer group meetings in the workplace were "ongoing religious missions". So it is acceptable as a one time event, maybe once a month. We can make the rules as we go. Good spin.
Kym Byrnes (Editor) May 24, 2012 at 05:40 PM
Hey folks, thanks for weighing in. It looks like perhaps there's an article to be written about political party tensions in Carroll County, and perhaps how the internet/anonymous posting plays into that :) That said, I can tell people are starting to get passionate (personal) in these posts and I just want to remind you that Patch will remove personal attacks and inappropriate posts, not that any have been posted in this thread yet. Try to keep your comments focused on the topic of the article. I know people get offended when I have to remove comments and I would like to avoid offending any Patch users.
Buck Harmon May 24, 2012 at 11:28 PM
The Independents have it the toughest...we have to deal with bad government leadership from both angles, knowing full well that we all get screwed equally by Republicans and Democrats....a party tension article would be very interesting...
Judy Robertson May 25, 2012 at 12:46 AM
The last time I checked, we have freedom of religion and freedom of speech in this country. We also each can make our own decision whether to accept invitations to parties, meetings, and, yes, even a prayer meeting! It is not wrong to issue an invitation to a meeting, even if something as taboo as praying is involved. Commissioner Bartlett-Frazier has done nothing wrong.
Native May 25, 2012 at 02:27 AM
Hey David, Buck & David Grand are the ones that turn to name calling & personal attacks, not the right-wingers. I've had to flag them a few times. Nice try though.....
Concerned Citizen May 25, 2012 at 12:58 PM
Yet again, we see many missing the point. If supervisory personnel in any private business were to send an email to all employees informing them of, and inviting them to, a prayer meeting that is clearly sectarian, the cries of discrimination would be loud and fast. And, that business would have no defense against a discrimination claim. A public employer is really no different. As many have said, this board of commissioners seems to feel it is above current law, and seeks to change those with which it does not agree. From open meeting laws, to promoting one religion over another, etc., etc., etc., they feel they can adhere to only those laws and regulations that fit with their narrow mindset. I am a registered Republican and am truly ashamed of their actions.
Concerned Citizen May 25, 2012 at 01:32 PM
Sorry, JoAnn. You're clearly not familiar with employment law, and regulations of the EEOC. I am. Maybe you ought to brush up on the laws and regulations that govern what goes on in private business before you comment.
Buck Harmon May 25, 2012 at 02:35 PM
If the business operates within it's own personal property, the business owners can decide if they want their property to be used for prayer time or not...It's their personal property to do with as they choose. How a property owner chooses to use their private property is not a LEVEL.
Buck Harmon May 25, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Once again, this really is not a Constitution issue, but rather, an abuse of position and ethics issue. I do enjoy the fervor of your Constitution mindset though...
Concerned Citizen May 25, 2012 at 03:38 PM
JoAnn, again you're stepping into areas you do not understand. Please see the below links. Cases have been brought to court, and won, based on the employer's support of one religion, deeming it discrimation against those who do not adhere to that particular religion. Also, proselytizing, if allowed or supported by the employer, can likewise result in a charge of discrimination. What Ms. Frazier is doing can certainly be consideredk proselytizing. The consitution does not govern the private workplace. Period. While private employers are not bound by the Constitution's restrictions on government, they are subject to federal and state laws that ban religious discrimination in employment. This includes creating of a hostile work environment by supporting one religion over any other. http://www.hrhero.com/hl/articles/2008/10/24/eeoc-offers-employers-guidance-on-avoiding-religious-discrimination/ http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/qanda_religion.html
Concerned Citizen May 25, 2012 at 04:49 PM
Sorry, JoAnn, but it is about forcing one's religion on others. When someone in a supervisory position encourages, invites, recruits, her employees to join her, it is assumed she her acts are coercing, and therefore, that the employer (regardless of its agreeemnt with the supervisor's acts) condones and allows it. Again, proven again and again in courts of law all over the country. Furthermore, no one has said that individual employees cannot, or should not be allowed, to pray on their own time, at work. It is the institutional establishment of one particular religious belief foisted upon others that is wrong, and has also been upheld by numerous court decisions, and therefore codified. I also find it amusing that you would call anyone else "pompous". Your posts are the very definition of that trait.
EBurger May 25, 2012 at 05:45 PM
There seems to be a lot of assumptions and exaggerations being thrown around. Frazier is coercing, discriminating and trying to convert others?; it's a Prayer Group! Many large companies and corporations (including my own) allow many types of prayer groups and bible study. Not sure if they are invited by management, but many include all levels of management; with no discriminatory issues. Maybe if a county employee invited everyone and Frazier chose to attend; that would satisfy the few on this blog. Wishful thinking.
Buck Harmon May 25, 2012 at 06:11 PM
To date, the Commissioners have been very successful at one thing....opening cans of worms that in no way will benefit the citizens at large in Carroll County. How will this elected government official sponsored prayer time benefit the taxpayers of Carroll? How will all County employee's of all religions possibly be able to attend these sessions?
Buck Harmon May 25, 2012 at 06:16 PM
I believe this is one of the reasons that the Commissioners just approved an additional $300,000.00 to use for outside legal fees, bringing the total legal fee fund to a ridiculous half million dollars. This is above and beyond the in house attorney budget. The ethics dance continues full steam ahead....god would not smile at this behavior.
EBurger May 25, 2012 at 06:44 PM
Buck, after all of this discussion, they are your two compelling questions? To the irrelevant question you have asked repeatedly; if an employee can't attend, then they can't attend....or should there be multiple prayer groups to accommodate all? Lastly, prayer is a powerful force for all, it will benefit employees and in turn,the taxpayers. Try some.
SOUTHWESTMINSTER May 25, 2012 at 07:05 PM
(CCDCC) has filed a formal complaint , this should say it all. As of yet no employee has complained about it. They have been after her since she got there and i'm sure that will not change. Let them huff & puff all they want, I bet if she wanted to plant a tree outside the building they would have no problem with it. Let the Witch hunt continue.
Native May 25, 2012 at 07:45 PM
Ok, I think we've beat this dead horse into the ground. So we disagree, it ain't the first & it won't be the last. Let's find something else to debate & put this one to bed.
SOUTHWESTMINSTER May 25, 2012 at 08:14 PM
Amen ! lol. :)
Buck Harmon May 26, 2012 at 12:51 AM
So then EBurger, What you are saying is that the opportunity will not be equal for all County employees to attend...the select few that work in the office building are the target here..? It's a very relevant question that has not been answered yet. There is no benefit to Carroll taxpayers by the creation of Carroll County Office Bldg. Prayer time. The" try some"comment is typical of someone that knows they are wrong...god would not smile at this very poor ethic behavior and you know it.
Gardenmagix May 26, 2012 at 09:20 PM
I think Concerned Citizen is correct. Do you remember Frazier's endorsement the last time she was elected? No rec games on Sunday morning. She seems to think every citizen goes to church on Sunday. That's a bit short-sighted, but then again, this is Carroll County politics.

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