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Policy: Labor

Union wants Montgomery County planning contract investigated

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Local,Maryland,Kate Jacobson,Labor unions,Montgomery County,Labor

The Montgomery County employees union is calling for an ethics investigation into County Councilwoman Valerie Ervin's involvement with a $1.3 million no-bid contract, which some say was done in secret.

The Municipal and County Government Employees Organization, or MCGEO, has filed a formal request with the county's Inspector General's Office to investigate whether Ervin violated any ethics laws while she pushed for a single-source, no-bid contract that would streamline the county's planning processes.

"Ms. Ervin is trying to underhandedly spend much-needed county funds to help a wealthy county developer," UFCW Local 1994 President Gino Renne said. "Ms. Ervin's back-door maneuvering to have an outside contractor come in and write policy to the tune of $1.3 [million] in taxpayer funds, aside from being unethical, is another smack in the face."

The contract would allow real estate developer Chris McGoff to change the planning process to improve efficiency, but also would allow McGoff's firm -- The Clearing -- to intervene in decision-making.

Multiple council members said the contract was concerning, and not all members were invited to meetings with McGoff, characterizing them as private.

Ervin said earlier this week she was open in her actions, that the contract doesn't exist and conversations with McGoff were never private.

"There's nothing secret," she told The Washington Examiner.

kjacobson@washingtonexaminer.com

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