Alabaster resident files ethics complaint against Frings

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Robert O. Blain of Alabaster, a supporter of mayoral candidate Larry Rollan, recently confirmed he filed a state Ethics Commission Complaint against Alabaster Mayor David Frings.

According to a copy of the complaint, &uot;In the July issue of the city of Alabaster newsletter, a publication solely owned by the city of Alabaster, Mr. Frings used in his address to the citizens of Alabaster, political implications by the use of his campaign slogan ‘continue the progress.’

&uot;This was rubber stamped and ostensibly endorsed by each member of the City Council by their supportive state of the city article.

&uot;This attempt to circumvent proper procedures is offensive to me as a citizen whose tax dollars pay for this publication, which should have afforded equal time and space to the other qualified and registered candidates for office.

&uot;These services if contracted for in the private market place would have entailed several thousand dollars of expense which I feel is in no way fair and equitable to the other candidates.&uot;

Blain attached a copy of the newsletter article and a supportive photo of one of Frings campaign signs bearing the phrase &uot;Continue the Progress.&uot;

While stating that he is not a candidate for office, but a supporter

of mayoral candidate Rollan, Blain stressed, &uot;If it has been Larry (Rollan) doing the same thing, I would have been on him too. Fair is fair.&uot;

Hugh Evans, chief attorney for the Ethics Commission, said, no comment could be made on anything pending. He also said no comment could be made as to whether or not a complaint has been received.

Frings said he has not seen anything of the complaint. other than what was reported in the media. But he called the issue raised by Blain &uot;a nothing complaint.&uot;

Frings went on to say the issue of using the newsletter is being raised by &uot;people who don’t have a proven record on which to conduct the office (of mayor).&uot; Frings said he has a proven record of leadership. And he said the complaint against him was an effort to raise negative issues.

The mayor said he has used the expression &uot;continuing the progress&uot; in previous years, including

the 2003 newsletter.

He said when the article ran in the July 2004 newsletter he &uot;was not a candidate&uot; for office because qualification did not begin until July 7. He also said the article had to be submitted for that newsletter in June