St. Mary's County Times October 12, 2017 - Page 4

4 Local News The County Times Thursday, October 12, 2017 4TH ANNUAL FALL CONSIGNMENT AUCTION OCTOBER 28th, 2017 STARTING AT 8:30 AM • PREVIEW DAY OCT 27 TH HAYES AUCTION SERVICES • GREEN MANOR FARM 38250 NEW MARKET TURNER RD • MECHANICSVILLE, MD 20659 Town Council Approves Housing Development By Guy Leonard Staff Writer The Leonardtown Town Council approved on Tuesday the Meadows at Town Run single- family home project to be built along Hollywood Road. The project, to be completed in two phases by Quality Built Homes, will bring 107 new homes to Leonar- dtown on what was once farmland. That property, known as the Wa- then Farm, was annexed into the town in August of 2015. The development will be con- structed across from the Leonard’s Grant community but not directly across, said Town Administrator Laschelle McKay. The project will also include a new center turn lane on Hollywood Road that both communities will be able to use, McKay said. Despite the continued residential growth in the area and the construc- tion of the Capt. Walter Francis Duke Elementary School and the planned new senior center and library com- plex, there will not be a traffic signal between the two communities any- time soon. “At this point, they’re [State Highway Administration] saying it doesn’t warrant a light,” McKay told The County Times. guyleonard@countytimes.net Sparling Out as County Attorney By Guy Leonard Staff Writer George Sparling, who has served as county attorney for the last seven years, was dismissed from service as of last week, county officials have told The County Times. Commissioner Todd Morgan said the decision to dismiss Sparling was taken in executive session last week. “George was let go by the county,” Morgan said. “There had been con- cerns among the commissioners for a some time about his performance. “It was regarding the counsel we were receiving.” Morgan said the insufficiency of legal counsel was not related to any particular issue discussed by commissioners. “It was series of issues,” Morgan said. “I don’t think the counsel re- ceived was adequate.” Sparling is a well-known local at- torney who before taking the county attorney position in 2010 had a pri- vate law practice. Sparling also served as state’s at- torney for St. Mary’s County from 1974 to 1978. As a private defense attorney, Sparling was legal counsel in 1986 to then county commissioner president George Aud who had been indicted after a lengthy investigation for tax fraud involving a parcel of land. Aud was aquitted by a St. Mary’s County circuit court judge. When contacted, Sparling declined comment on his dismissal from the county attorney’s post. Asked whether he would return to private legal practice he said: “I doubt that.” Officials with the county’s Depart- ment of Human Resources said Spar- ling’s salary was $140,000 a year. Sparling said he was eligible for retirement payment that was based on his length of service and earnings level but was unsure what that per- centage level was. “I am eligible for retirement pay- ment,” Sparling said, adding he was entitled to six months severance pay though he had yet to receive it as of Wednesday. County government spokesman Tony Jones said Deputy County At- torney David Weiskopf would act as interim legal counsel. County commissioners would be- gin the search for a new county at- torney as with any other department head, Jones said. guyleonard@countytimes.net