Elections official found to violate ethics rules

September 12, 2001|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

Howard County Election Administrator Robert J. Antonetti Sr. was found in violation of Maryland's ethics laws while holding the same job in Prince George's County, according to a ruling yesterday by the state's highest court.

The Court of Appeals, in a 7-2 decision, upheld a May 1997 ruling by the State Ethics Commission that Antonetti improperly hired his wife and children to elections board jobs in Prince George's County and failed to disclose their employment records.

The commission found that Antonetti paid family members a total of $14,000 from 1988 to 1994 for part-time work and signed the pay authorizations for them. The panel had recommended a two-week suspension and a $7,500 fine.

Antonetti contended that other board employees often hired their family members for hard-to-fill, part-time board jobs and that he signed all pay authorizations routinely because he was the only person allowed to do that.

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