by Lisa Tome
A Cecil County Circuit Court order has reinstated Rising Sun Town Commissioner candidate Kathy Jaggers to the ballot.
In Civil Action Case number 14-944, a Writ requires the Ethics Board of Rising Sun and the Town of Rising Sun to reinstate Jaggers as a candidate. It has been ordered that the decision of the Ethics Board is stayed pending full Judicial Review.
The reason cited for their removal was failure to submit proper paperwork to be a candidate.
According to Rising Sun Town Commissioner George Walker, who is not a member of the Ethics Commission, the Ethics Board met in both private and public session on Thursday. Walker said both Bernard Chiominto and Kathy Jaggers have been removed from the race by the Ethics Commission.
"It is my understanding that all their required paperwork was not completed," said Walker.
Chiominto is ill. He could not be reached for comment.
Jaggers submitted an unsolicited letter to this newspaper which reads, "I am very sorry at the recent decisions for the "ethics commission" to have taken my name off the ballot for town commissioner. Much of the information in the letter I received about this was incorrect, and the issue of a missing $50 in my accounting was my own contribution to the campaign. The closed meeting of this commission to which I was subjected was closed to my treasurer, and any meeting without him was impossible. I wrote a letter offering to answer questions in another venue, but this offer was refused. I have a perfect accounting of all contributions and expenditures made."
Ethics Commission member Charles "Chip" Slaybaugh said that in general, both Chiominto and Jaggers were prohibited from running for the same reason, failure to provide financial disclosure forms.
"With Mr. Chiominto, it was a situation where he did not have the physical ability to get the forms to us. He realized he could not run for office," said Slaybaugh. He said that Rising Sun town codes do not allow a candidate to withdrawal from an election once they declare they are running. "He was going to resign if elected. He saved us the trouble (by not providing financials)," explained Slaybaugh.
Slaybaugh said that Jaggers was asked to appear before the Ethics Commission members on Monday, June 2. Slaybaugh said the Ethics Commission members wanted a "teachable moment" with Jaggers where they would outline how the financial forms were to be completed. Jaggers brought her husband, Ron, her campaign treasurer along. The Ethics Commission asked him to excuse himself and wait outside for his wife. Slaybaugh said that Jaggers said she would not stay if her husband was made to leave. "We never got the chance with her," said Slaybaugh.
He said Ethics Commission members had questions regarding three forms provided by Jaggers. Slaybaugh said those forms had conflicting information with expenditures. "At no time did she show expenditures (for signs) and she has signs all over town," said Slaybaugh.
"In today's world we have to be as transparent as possible. We made an effort to teach her so she would be qualified," said Slaybaugh. "We didn't want to have to do this. The (town) ordinance is in place for a purpose. We couldn't set a precedent by allowing (candidates) to skate on by. This ordinance is for real and people have to follow it."
The election is set for Monday, June 9 from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m.