Comm. Horgan ethics hearing set for Sept. 28

Tue, 09/15/2009 - 4:02pm
By: John Munford

A hearing to determine whether Fayette County Commissioner Robert Horgan has violated the county’s ethics ordinance has been scheduled for Monday, Sept. 28 at 2 p.m.

Horgan is accused of violating the county’s ethics rules when he was arrested May 23 by a Fayette County deputy sheriff for misdemeanor charges of possession of marijuana and driving with an expired tag.

After first telling the sheriff’s deputy he had nothing illegal in the vehicle, Horgan admitted on the scene that he had smoked marijuana while driving the truck, according to the deputy’s incident report.

A panel of three attorneys who represent nearby counties will conduct the hearing, which is open to the public. At some point the attorneys will craft a recommendation on whether there was an ethics violation and if so what the penalty should be.

That recommendation would be considered at a later date for a final vote by the county commission, and Horgan would have to recuse himself from that discussion and vote.

Should Horgan be found guilty of violating the county’s ethics code, he could be fined up to $1,000 and also face a public reprimand.

The county attorneys serving on the panel are Spalding attorney Jim Fortune, Meriwether attorney Tyron Elliott and Pike attorney Rob Morton.

The ethics complaint, filed by residents David Cree and Patrick Henchey, alleges that Horgan violated the county’s ethics ordinance by lying at first about the presence of any illegal substance in his vehicle during the traffic stop, which occurred on Stanley Road near Gingercake Road.

The complaint alleges that Horgan tried to elicit special treatment by asking the deputy, once Horgan was placed in the back of the patrol car “if there was anything that we could do to resolve this right here, right now!”

The deputy’s reply was no, according to the deputy’s report of the incident.

The complaint also alleges that Horgan’s actions leading up to and during the traffic stop amounts to “a breach of the public trust by conducting himself in a manner that was unbecoming to an official of the county, to wit: possess an unlawful substance, use an unlawful substance while operating a motor vehicle on a public highway, lie to a law enforcement officer and solicit special treatment that would place his personal situation ahead of the public’s right to know.”

An effort to recall Horgan from office died in a LaGrange courtroom Aug. 28 as a Superior Court judge ruled the grounds for recall were insufficient since the traffic stop on a Saturday could not be connected to Horgan’s official duty as a county commissioner.

According to the deputy’s report, Horgan was returning home from Lowe’s when he was pulled over and arrested.

login to post comments

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Submitted by PTC Observer on Wed, 09/16/2009 - 5:38am.

Which just happens to be against the law.

Laws that Commissioners are sworn to uphold.

Other than these two things your post is correct.

suggarfoot's picture
Submitted by suggarfoot on Wed, 09/16/2009 - 6:46am.

I think they guy should not be in office.

suggarfoot's picture
Submitted by suggarfoot on Wed, 09/16/2009 - 2:00am.

people... didn't know... when they elected Horgan as a county decision maker, that in his personal life, he makes decisions to drive around smoking dope with an expired tax on a Sunday afternoon....Now they do

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.