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Investigation fines, clears ANC 2C

(Published October 4, 1999)

One member of the Shaw Advisory Neighborhood Commission was found guilty of misusing his office for personal gain Aug. 3 and three other members were reprimanded by the Office of Campaign Finance.

The commissioners came under investigation after the city auditorís office uncovered evidence that the commission had accepted donations in December 1995 and 1996 from Norman "Chip" Glasgow, a lawyer for Wilkes, Artis, Hendrick and Lane which had business before the commission at the time. The commissionís treasurer then wrote $100 checks to each commissioner and indicated it was their "share" of the donation.

The audit found that the checks were labeled "gifts needy" or "gifts for needy" but the report found that few of those checks were used to buy Christmas gifts for the needy.

Former commissioner Torrence Henighan was fined $500 for misusing his official position to obtain financial gain in December 1996 and incurred another $500 fine for accepting a thing of value that influenced him in his official capacity. Each fine, however, was reduced to $50 because of his "lack of recall, combined with his age, and apparent confusion as to the subject of the investigation," the OCFís ruling said. Henighan paid his $100 fine Aug. 10.

Two other commissioners, Lawrence Thomas and Doris Brooks, were cleared of wrongdoing in the part of the cases dealing with the contributions made in 1996, but the commissioners were unable to disprove the conflict-of-interest allegations involving the 1995 donations. However, because the statute of limitations had run out by just a few weeks, the OCF could not levy any fines and instead issued a strongly worded admonishment to the commissioners.

Commissioner Leroy Thorpe Jr. was cleared of any conflict-of-interest charges, but because he used the money to buy crime-fighting equipment for his red hat patrol instead of "gifts for needy," the OCF "strongly advised" him of the statutes regarding conflict of interest. Commissioner Norman Davis was cleared of all the allegations for both years.

Copyright 1999, The Common Denominator