Tom Ryan Leaves Ethics Commission Meeting

By Scott Sarvay
By Rachel Martin

October 29, 2012 Updated Nov 24, 2013 at 2:02 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) - A retired judge storms out of a public hearing as he and other members of the Allen County Ethics Commission weigh a conflict of interest claim against County Councilman Paul Moss.

For the second time in as many meetings retired Judge Tom Ryan and lawyer Tom Hardin argued about Moss' June traffic stop. During which Moss made a call to Sheriff Ken Fries and was allowed to go home without a breathalyzer.

During Monday’s public meeting, Hardin suggested holding a public hearing because he has probable cause to believe Moss solicited and received preferential treatment, which is in violation of the County’s Code of Conduct Ordinance.

Ryan called it a "witch hunt" and said the claim should be investigated by Internal Affairs or the courts.

Ryan said, “If you're suggesting that there was ill motive on the part of Councilman Moss with respect to a favor, then that's bribery and should be referred to the prosecuting attorney. Otherwise, we should dismiss this and quit screwing around with it."

Moss’ attorney Tim Pape, with Carson Boxberger LLC, agrees with Ryan saying Moss didn’t get treated any differently than the average citizen that night in June.

“I believe that section of the ordinance actually says that Councilman Moss actually got a result that would not be available to someone else in the community. The officers always retain the discretion on what to do there. He didn't get any different result than a number of our citizens get every weekend,” said Pape.

Pape adds that Moss deeply regrets ever making the phone call because of all the trouble it's stirred up for himself and others like Sheriff Fries.

Ryan stormed out but was out-voted by the other two members.

A public hearing is set for November 30th. The Ethics Commission hopes to hear from Moss at the hearing.

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