Board To Defend Suit

March 04, 1992

The county election board voted unanimously Friday to defend a Feb. 24 Circuit Court suit alleging that the most recent County Council redistricting is constitutionally defective and invalid.

At issue iswhether council districts can be created by a resolution rather thana bill. The council, voting along party lines, created districts by resolution in December that were identical to those in a bill vetoed by County Executive Charles I. Ecker.

Republicans David P. Maier of Elkridge and Louis M. Pope of Laurel are suing the board because the board accepted the council resolution as valid.

"The sole reason for calling this legislation a resolution was unlawfully to circumvent the Constitutional and Charter requirements . . . and wrongfully to avoid the executive's veto," the suit alleges. Bills can be vetoed, resolutions cannot.

The suit alsoalleges that the resolution unconstitutionally deprives voters of their right to have the legislation referred to them for their approvalor rejection at the polls.

Bills can be petitioned to referendum,resolutions cannot.

Election board president Frank T. Lupashunskisaid Monday "the board supports the County Council's presumption of correctness and legality."

The board asked its attorney, Charles A. Reese, to respond to the suit within 30 days.

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