To the Editor:
Communities are like people. Some of them never grow up. One of the arguments against keeping our local Ethics Board was that Ocean City was “too small a town.” That was a curious admission that we were not able to police ourselves. When I heard it, I thought it was sad to have so little faith in your own community. Now it’s time to admit that I was the one who was wrong.
An Ethics Board can only be as good as the people who serve on it and the support it receives from the community. When the Ethics Board dismissed its own findings, the only one left talking was the defendant’s attorney doing what attorneys are paid to do: advocating for their client. Trials are the great engines of truth. And that is the one thing that has been avoided. Witnesses who really knew what happened will never testify. The accuser has been silenced by a $50,000 dollar payoff by the taxpayers of Ocean City. The accused is left free to spin the story his way without ever being confronted with evidence to the contrary.
Everybody wins, except “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”
So what now? The Ethics Board was a well-intentioned experiment that failed. Is there any point to leaving behind a monument to that failure?