OP Officials Consider Repealing Misconduct Resolution

OCEAN PINES – An effort to repeal a policy regarding director and officer misconduct is underway in Ocean Pines.

In last week’s meeting of the Ocean Pines Association (OPA) Board of Directors, Director Frank Daly submitted a first reading to repeal Resolution B-08, which addresses director and officer ethics and misconduct.

“The purpose of this first reading is to repeal Resolution B-08 in its entirety …,” he said. “Second reading to repeal Resolution B-08 will be in June.”

In 2018, the board of directors adopted a resolution governing the conduct and ethical standards of directors and officers. The resolution also sets a process for handling complaints against officials.

In February – following an investigation of a B-08 complaint filed against President Larry Perrone – Daly called on the board to amend or repeal the resolution by its May meeting.

“We’re not the Central Intelligence Agency, we’re not the National Security Agency,” he said at the time. “This cloak of secrecy that ties hands is extremely unfair, first to the community and second of all to the people involved … Like it or not, there are two sides to every story. And I don’t like a process that handcuffs one side.”

In a memo to board members last week, Daly noted the handling of three B-08 complaints since his election to the board and argued against the process and secrecy surrounding such complaints.

“In my opinion none have measured up to the standard of excellence and fairness that we expect of each other and that the community expects of us,” he wrote. “This resolution has prevented the board from identifying who made the complaint, who the complaint was against and what the complaint is. The resolution has completely prevented the accused of making any comments to defend themselves. It has prevented answers to totally appropriate questions from association members. The procedures employed have raised fair, and serious, questions regarding due process for both the accused and accuser.”

Daly argued complaints should be written by the complainant, not a board member, and basic information should be made available to the public. He also critiqued the investigation process and the inability of all involved parties to address the board before judgements are made.

“My final issue involves potential penalties,” he wrote. “B-08 was supposed to provide the ability to penalize conduct short of removal. Yet the first vote B-08 requires is a vote for removal. Another reason to rescind until, or unless, B-08 is substantially modified to address its shortcomings.”

For his part, Director Tom Janasek told Daly last week he took issue the repeal was not brought before the committee.

“I have an issue with it coming up and the three of us on the committee not knowing anything about it until it popped up …,” he said. “Communication, that’s all I’m saying.”

Daly noted that the committee has 30 days to meet and bring forward recommendations.

“My first reading is to strike it out in its entirety,” he said. “I assume if you guys are following the bylaws, your friendly amendment for the second reading would come in with a markup version of B-08 that’s called for in the Book of Resolutions what the change is that you all want as a work group to fix the known deficiencies that we have. And you have 30 days to do that.”

Janasek said the committee would hold another meeting before the second reading.

“It might come up just to repeal B-08 …,” he said. “We’ll have another meeting and discuss it.”

In the last year, the board has handled two B-08 complaints involving board members.

Last November, General Manager John Viola filed a complaint against Janasek regarding offensive remarks he made against Viola during a business lunch. Janasek was ultimately censured by the board.

And in January, former employee Colby Phillips filed a complaint against Board President Larry Perrone alleging he had yelled at her on multiple occasions and spoke to her in a condescending manner.

Following an investigation, the board found no violation occurred. Weeks later, Phillips submitted her resignation to the board, ending a nearly seven-year tenure with OPA.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

Alternative Text

Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.