Thursday, December 01, 2005

Facing state criminal probe, County and developers agree to settle Clarksburg in secret

The Montgomery County Planning Board has shunned a public hearing and agreed with Clarksburg developers and community figures to handle the scandal in secret.

"The decision to mediate does not appear to have an impact on ongoing probes by the state special prosecutor, who handles criminal matters, and the county's independent inspector general," the Washington Post reports. "They are examining the documents that have been challenged by residents to see whether any laws have been broken."

County Council President Tom Perez, himself a former special prosecutor, indicated that he wants to settle the issue quietly before the criminal probes find something. "This case simply jumps out at me as a classic example of a case that should settle," he says.

[Flashback: Two weeks ago, Perez implied that county development growth policy allows schools to become overcrowded, but that the statistics are rigged "so everyone passes."