Panel finds no ethics problem with Ruppersberger-MBNA link

February 14, 1997|By Ronnie Greene | Ronnie Greene,SUN STAFF

Baltimore County's Ethics Commission has concluded that there is no ethics violation in Executive C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger's business relationship with a credit card company planning to move to the area.

The commission's unanimous ruling noted that Ruppersberger has recused himself from involvement in the relocation of Delaware-based MBNA Corp., which plans to open a regional headquarters in the area. And it said there was no evidence that his business, a collection agency that handles some work for MBNA, would benefit from the county's dealings with MBNA.

In summation, the commission found "no violation of the Baltimore County Ethics Code under the facts presented" concerning the executive and Rupp and Associates Inc., a company he owns.

Ruppersberger has won widespread praise from government and business executives for his efforts in luring MBNA, which would bring an estimated 2,500 jobs to the area. The commission said his "efforts to promote the possible relocation of MBNA's mid-Atlantic regional office to Baltimore County constitute an appropriate" performance of his job.

In issuing its ruling Wednesday, the commission noted that Ruppersberger had "recused himself from any decision relating to MBNA's prospective development or relocation."

It concluded that there is "no evidence that Rupp and Associates would benefit by any dealings of Baltimore County with MBNA."

The commission consists of four voting members, two of them appointed by Ruppersberger and two appointed before he took office. The commission has a nonvoting executive director, Joseph S. Matricciani.

Pub Date: 2/14/97

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