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Colby Phillips resigns over board dispute

No specifics, but long-time employee says it’s related

By Greg Ellison

(Feb. 18, 2021) Ocean Pines Director of Amenities and Operational Logistics Colby Phillips resigned on Thursday in the wake of recent closed-door meetings tied to an ethics and conduct complaint against a member of the Ocean Pines Board of Directors.

“My resignation is in conjunction with recent events,” Phillips said.

The directors convened close meetings on Jan. 26, Jan. 29 and Feb. 4, presumably to discuss a complaint filed by an employee who alleged that a current board member violated the association’s resolution regarding Director and Officer Ethics and Conduct.

On Feb.4, Director Dr. Colette Horn read from a prepared statement during the virtual meeting, which lasted scarcely minutes, stating that an OPA employee had filed a complaint, but that an investigation led the OPA’s counsel to conclude no violation had occurred.

According to reports from Ocean Pines Forum moderator Joe Reynolds, it was Phillips who filed the complaint against OPA President Larry Perrone alleging he created a hostile workplace.

In April 2019, Phillips was appointed to the newly created director of operations role after previously serving as the Ocean Pines aquatics director, which was preceded by more than a quarter century working for the Ocean City Beach Patrol as a surf rescue technician.

While declining to discuss specifics this week, Phillips said more information would come to light in the near future.

“No comment at this time but I’m excited to share future opportunities that have come my direction since things have happened over the last two months,” she said. “I wasn’t looking for anything, but other opportunities presented themselves … but my resignation is because of recent events.”

The resolution cited by the complaint, B-08, restricts board members from providing specific direction to association management, employees or vendors without prior authorization. Additionally, B-08 prohibits board members from retaliating against an employee alleging impropriety.

On Tuesday, Bayside Gazette reached out to Perrone who declined to comment, while General Manager John Viola was unable to be reached.