Friday, December 21, 2007

Impact Fee Suit to Continue

The failures of the Owens' Administration continue to haunt the County as the latest twist in the unspent impact fee saga unfolds. Circuit Court Judge Paul Harris ruled earlier this week that two former County officials can remain in their case charging that Anne Arundel County misspent (or failed to spend appropriately) impact fees collected during the Owens' Administration. The suit revolved around an argument, made by the Ethics Commission, that the two officials, former County Attorney Phillip F. Scheibe and Robert J. Dvorak, a former top administrator, had used inside knowledge of the impact fee program to try to make money by suing the County after leaving their jobs in the late 1990s.

Schiebe and Dvorak have contended that the Ethics Commission suit, brought in 2004, was politically motivated, and they're probably right. They embarrassed the Owens' Administration pretty badly. Of course, they weren't content to use their inside knowledge of the mis-administration of impact fee funds to try to correct the program. They've instead seized on a golden opportunity to try to make a buck and raid the funds collected through the program.

And we, the taxpayers of Anne Arundel County, get to continue reaping the consequences of people like Janet Owens, Phillip Scheibe, and Robert Dvorak "serving the public."

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