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Berlin elected officials’ disclosures approved

Berlin Town Administrator Laura Allen and Ethics Commission Chairman Milt Warren on Monday review financial disclosures filed by Town of Berlin elected officials.

By Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(Aug. 30, 2018) Members of the Berlin Ethics Commission on Monday said they were mostly pleased with financial disclosures submitted by Berlin elected officials for the period of Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2017.

According to copies of the disclosures obtained by the Gazette on Tuesday, Mayor Gee Williams disclosed ownership of a residential property on 10101 Old Ocean City Boulevard in Berlin, owned jointly with his wife, Betsy M. Williams. According to the filing, the home was purchased in October of 1974 for $23,500.

District 1 Councilman Troy Purnell disclosed he is jointly the owner, with Lauralee Purnell, of a residential home on 411 Broad Street in Berlin, bought in 1995. He did not disclose the purchase amount.

Purnell also listed real property interest in an unimproved area on Broad Street, also purchased in 1995, and owned jointly with Windy Way Farm Inc.

Additionally, in an attached “schedule of partnership investments and controlled corporations,” dated Dec. 31, 2014, Purnell listed a 31 percent share of Berlin Properties North, LLC; 31 percent share of The Grainery, LLC; 95 percent share of OCMOTELS, L.L.C.; 52 percent share of Resort Rentals, L.L.C.; 95 percent share of Tee Pee, LLC; 95 percent share of Tee Pee Rentals, LLC; 50 percent share of PGP, LLC; and 95 percent share of Windy Way Welsh Ponies, LLC.

Purnell’s schedule also included interests in a number of “SUB-S” corporations, including a 26.67 percent share of Assateague Pointe, Inc.; 100 percent share of Purnell Investment Corp; 52 percent share of Resort Homes, Inc.; 100 percent share of Resort Real Estate, Inc.; 50 percent share of Windy Way Farms, Inc.; and a 10 percent interest in one other company.

District 2 Councilman Zack Tyndall disclosed a residential property on 201 Buckingham Road in Berlin, purchased in September of 2010 for $175,000.

Tyndall listed his employer as Beach Real Estate Inc. in Berlin and his wife, Chelsea N. Tyndall, as employed by Atlantic General Hospital in Berlin, an “organization that receives funding from the town.”

He also disclosed less than 1 percent stock interest in Khom Properties LLC (one share), The Mosaic Co. (seven shares), Calvin B. Taylor Bankshares (10 shares) and Distribution Now (25 shares).

District 3 Councilman Elroy Brittingham checked “no” on all counts, meaning during the disclosure period he did not hold interests in real property in or outside the Town of Berlin, and neither he nor any of his immediate family members benefited from business dealings with the town.

District 4 Councilman Dean Burrell disclosed a residential home on 113 Showell Street in Berlin, owned jointly with Valerie Whaley Burrell. According to the disclosure, it was inherited in 1985 from Albert and Emma Purnell at a cost of $50,000.

At-Large Councilman Thom Gulyas disclosed a residential home on 110 Thomas Court in Berlin owned jointly with his wife, Belinda Gulyas. It was purchased in January of 2006 for $575,000.

Additionally, Gulyas claimed 100 percent stock interest in and listed as his employer Atlantic Coast Enterprises, Inc. on 10026 Old Ocean City Boulevard Suite 3, Berlin, Maryland, 21811.

He also disclosed that his wife works for the Worcester County Board of Education.

Two members of the ethics commission, Bill Burke and Chairman Milt Warren, said it appeared several elected officials had rushed through the process and left a few boxes unchecked.

Warren added, “there’s no problem on anything, there’s just unanswered questions.”

Town Administrator Laura Allen, attempting to clarify, said, “It sounds like what you’re saying is that some of them seem a little incomplete.”

“Exactly,” Warren said. “They just need to … go through and cross the ‘T’s’ and dot the ‘I’s.’”

The commission members voted unanimously to approve the disclosures, with those recommended changes.

Allen on Monday night said no other candidates had filed for the Town Council race other than the three incumbents up for reelection: Purnell, Burrell and Gulyas. The deadline to file is Sept. 4 and the write-in filing deadline is Sept. 25.

The ethics commission is scheduled to meet again on Sept. 25 at 5:30 p.m. in Town Hall.