Lovettsville Planning Commission Chairman Dismissed for Alleged Malfeasance, Vice Chairwoman Resigns

The Lovettsville Town Council on Thursday night revoked Planning Commission Chairman Frank McDonough’s appointment for “malfeasance, in addition to misconduct involving a person affiliated with town government,” according to Mayor Bob Zoldos’ Friday newsletter.

Stephanie Wolf, the commission’s vice chairwoman, also resigned from her position this week.

Zoldos wrote that McDonough’s misconduct called into question whether his duties “were being faithfully performed on behalf of the town.” The Town Council’s decision was made after a closed session Thursday night and in consultation with Town Attorney Elizabeth Whiting.

While few details were released about the circumstances of the claim, Zoldos said no legal action would be taken against McDonough. “There’s no criminal charges we would expect to ever be pending on this,” he said.

Town Manager Sam Finz said the Town Council’s decision was “appropriate action based upon sound, legal advice.”

“I give the council credit for acting on the situation and doing what they felt was necessary,” he said.

McDonough, who has served on the commission since August 2012, said any rumors about him were “unsubstantiated” and that he didn’t want to fight to keep his spot on the commission because he wanted to keep the focus on the May 1 elections.

“Any distraction involving me is not what the town needed,” he said. “I really want people to get involved in the election and find out about the candidates.”

When asked if he would ever consider reapplying for a spot on a town committee or commission, McDonough said that he would be allowed to, but probably would not.

“I doubt that I would have any interest in participating in town government in the foreseeable future,” he said. “I really, really love this town … and I really did not want there to be negative energy focused on the town.”

McDonough and Wolf were both present at the Jan. 17 planning commission meeting, but were absent at the Feb. 15 meeting. Planning Commissioner Tom Ciolkosz filled in for McDonough as acting chairman.

McDonough’s term on the commission was set to expire June 30, 2020. Wolf’s term expires in 2021.

Finz said the commission could continue to operate with just five members, but will now have to appoint a new chairman and vice chairman from among its ranks.

2 thoughts on “Lovettsville Planning Commission Chairman Dismissed for Alleged Malfeasance, Vice Chairwoman Resigns

  • 2018-02-26 at 11:03 am

    Are there no residents in this Town speaking out about this? How can someone be let go in this respect and it not be brought to light to the public and proper authorities for their determination… Seems to me, if there is wrongdoing, and you have enough to dismiss them, you should have a crime that is punishable by law… This tends to be the problem with all of our Towns as The Councils, and everyone associated within their circles, think they are above the law. Sweep it under the rug……..

  • 2018-02-27 at 9:08 pm

    Leesburg Finest–from the Town of Lovettsville newsletter:

    “In consultation with the Town Attorney, the Town Council voted last night to revoke appointments for Planning Commissioner (and Chairman of the body) Frank McDonough from the Planning Commission, committees, and any other official capacity representing the Town for malfeasance, in addition to misconduct involving a person affiliated with Town government, so as to reasonably call into question whether the duties were being faithfully performed on behalf of the Town.
    The Council accepted the resignation of Stephanie Wolf from all of her committees and her position on the Planning Commission.”

    Malfeasance is not defined as a crime punishable by law. And if the Town Council and the Town’s lawyer had enough information to call into question McDonough’s performance then respect the decision. And take into consideration Wolf’s voluntary resignation. The Town is respectful enough not to overshare information concerning McDonough or Wolf.

    This Town Council has not acted as if they’re above the law in this situation. The lack of information released is out of respect to those concerned. Residents in Lovettsville do know what’s going on which is why there is no true dissent or outrage. Take a hint.

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