Ethics Panel

The Ethics Panel consists of five members who are residents of Frederick County. Each member serves for a term of three years and is limited to serve two consecutive terms. The panel’s responsibilities include:

  • Devise, receive, and maintain all forms generated by the Ethics Policy.
  • Provide advisory opinions to persons subject to the policy as to the applicability of provisions to them.
  • Process and make findings as to complaints filed by any person alleging violations of this policy.
  • Refer findings regarding complaints and other enforcement matters to the Board of Education for action.
  • Conduct an information program regarding the purposes and application of this policy.

Contacts

Office of Legal Services
(301) 696-6851

Resources

Application to Request an Advisory Opinion 
(Adobe PDF File, opens in new window)

Ethics Complaint Process 
(Adobe PDF File, opens in new window)

Ethics Policy (Board Policy 109 (Adobe PDF File, opens in new window))

Who is covered by this policy?  Members of the Board of Education and all employees of the Frederick County public school system.

What types of conduct or actions are covered by this policy?

  • Conflict of interest
  • Use of prestige of office
  • Disclosure of confidential information for financial gain
  • Outside employment
  • Gifts and honoraria

Financial Disclosure  Board members and selected administrators are required to make certain disclosure statements on an annual basis because of their relationship to the decision-making steps for the expenditure of public funds.

Lobbying Disclosure   Any person whose intent is to influence a Board member or any employee or any person who has business with the Frederick County Public School System and expends in excess of $100 on food, entertainment, or gifts for that a person must disclose this fact by registering as a lobbyist with the Ethics Panel.

Sanctions   Violation by any Board member or employee of the provisions of this policy constitutes grounds for discipline or personnel action or removal from office where provided by law, consistent with procedures set forth in the Education Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland or the policies of the Board of Education of Frederick County, Maryland.  Persons or organizations found in violation of the lobbying provisions of this policy will be publicly identified and subject to other penalties as provided by law.

Exemptions   Exemptions may be granted by the Ethics Panel if it is determined that application of the provisions would:

  • Constitute an unreasonable invasion of privacy,
  • Significantly reduce the availability of qualified persons for public service, or
  • Not be required to preserve the purposes of these regulations.

Advisory Opinions   One of the duties of the Ethics Panel is to provide advisory opinions to persons subject to the policy as to the applicability of these provisions. The panel provides interpretation of the policy based on the facts provided or reasonably available to it.

Complaints  The Ethics Panel also hears and makes findings as to complaints filed by any person(s) alleging violation of this policy. All complaints are treated confidentially and will, upon determination of the Ethics Panel, be referred to the Board of Education for recommended action. Individuals may file a written complaint with the chairperson of the Ethics Panel.

Meetings   The Ethics Panel meets periodically throughout the school year in executive function as it fulfills its responsibilities under the Maryland Ethics Law and Board Policy. It is an expectation that Panel members attend regularly scheduled meetings, which typically take place during the day approximately five times a year.