Board or Committee Meeting
Tuesday, July 20, 2021 - 6:00am to 7:00am

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Meeting ID: 846 5026 9618

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Meeting ID: 846 5026 9618

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Meeting Agenda


Tuesday, July 20, 2021

6:00 p.m.


Please Note:  Due to the circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 Pandemic, this meeting will be held on a virtual platform.  To participate in the meeting, please use this link:




If you wish to provide written testimony on any agenda item, you may send by mail to the Laurel Municipal Center or email to Laura Christoplos at [email protected].



  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Call
  3. Approval of July 20, 2021 Meeting Agenda
  4. Approval of Minutes of the meeting of May 25, 2021
  5. General Public Hearing
  6. 2020 Financial Disclosure Statements
  1. Report of the Financial Disclosure Statement Review Subcommittee
  2. Recommendations for action on outstanding issues
  3. City of Laurel General Election – Review of Candidates’ Financial Disclosure Statements
  1. Other Business
  2. Announcement of next meeting date
  3. Adjournment


Meeting Minutes

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Virtual Meeting via Zoom


The Ethics Commission Meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m. by Chairman James Hester.  Roll was called with the following Commissioners present: Chairman Hester, Vice Chair Bardwell, Commissioners Drake, Scaggs, and Kole.  Also, present Dennis Whitley, Ethics Commission Legal Counsel, LouAnn Crook, City Administrator, and Laura Christoplos, Administrative Assistant II.  Laura Christoplos was introduced and welcomed to the Commission. Chairman Hester congratulated LouAnn Crook on her appointment as City Administrator.


On a motion by Vice Chair Bardwell, seconded by Commissioner Scaggs, the agenda for the May 25, 2021 meeting was unanimously approved.


On a motion by Commissioner Drake, seconded by Commissioner Scaggs, the meeting minutes of January 26, 2021 were approved as amended.


On a motion by Commissioner Drake, seconded by Commissioner Scaggs, Chair Hester was unanimously re-elected as Chair of the Ethics Commission.


On a motion by Commissioner Drake, seconded by Chair Hester, Commissioner Bardwell was unanimously re-elected as Vice Chair of the Commission.


City Administrator Crook advised that all elected officials and City appointed officials had submitted Financial Disclosure Statements by the April 30 deadline, and that six committee members had yet to submit.Discussion ensued regarding appropriate consequences for those who have not complied with the Ethics Ordinance by submitting their 2020 Financial Disclosure Statement. Counsel Whitley opined that the Commission’s primary concern should be having them recuse themselves from taking any action in the proceedings of their respective Board, Commission or Committee.


On a motion by Commissioner Scaggs, seconded by Vice Chair Bardwell, the Commission voted unanimously to recommend to the Mayor that individuals not in compliance be asked to recuse themselves from further committee action and be advised that failure to submit the Financial Disclosure Statement by the deadline may result in a fine of $2 per day until in compliance.


Chair Hester requested that staff keep the Commissioners informed of progress on this.


Commissioner Drake and Vice Chair Bardwell volunteered to serve as the Financial Disclosure Review Sub-committee.



City of Laurel Ethics Commission – Meeting Minutes

May 25, 2021

Page 2


On a motion by Chair Hester, seconded by Commissioner Scaggs, the subcommittee members were unanimously appointed.


City Administrator Crook expressed appreciation for the Commissioners' willingness to hold their meetings virtually throughout the past year and informed them that all City meetings will continue to be held virtually through July 2021.


City Administrator Crook suggested a goal to automate the 2021 Financial Disclosure Statement process.Discussion ensued about the validity and security of such a process and Mr. Whitley agreed to research the validitymatter further.


Commissioner Kole asked that staff provide more information at a future meeting and invite a representative from the City’s Information Technology Department to attend to explain an online process and the security protections that would be implemented.


The date of the next meeting of the City of Laurel Ethics Commission was scheduled for August 24, 2021 at 6 p.m. via Zoom.


There being no further business to come before the Commission, on a motion by Vice Chair Bardwell, seconded by Commissioner Drake, the meeting was adjourned at 6:42 p.m.