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Duncan Nominates 2 to Fill Vacancies on WSSC Board

By Cameron W. Barr
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 1, 2004; Page B05

Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan (D) yesterday named an ethics specialist and a management consultant to serve on the board of the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, the troubled water and sewer utility for Montgomery and Prince George's counties.

Duncan named Stanley J. Botts, 56, a retired ethics and compliance manager at Verizon Communications, and Marc P. Lieber, 48, a management consultant who already serves as chairman of the Patuxent River Commission, a state-chartered body that seeks to protect the Patuxent watershed. The appointments are subject to approval by the County Council.

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"The backgrounds and considerable expertise of both Mr. Botts and Mr. Lieber will be a valuable asset to the commission as it strives to restore the public's confidence following the very public turmoil that has plagued the agency in recent months," Duncan said in a statement.

Montgomery and Prince George's governments each send three members to the six-member board that oversees the agency. Montgomery's three members resigned earlier this year after allegations of cronyism and mismanagement at the commission, one of the nation's largest water and sewer utilities.

State law says that no more than two of each county's three commissioners can be from the same party. Botts and Lieber are Democrats; Duncan is still looking for a Republican or an independent to fill the third slot.

David S. Weaver, Duncan's spokesman, said Botts's background made him an appealing candidate. "We wanted to make sure the highest ethical standards are adhered to by the commissioners and the agency itself," Weaver said. Botts has also held management positions in the District and federal governments.

Lieber is president of ProFicient Technologies Inc., a consulting firm that specializes in project management. He has been a vocal supporter of the proposed Montrose Parkway, a controversial North Bethesda road project that Duncan has promoted.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sued the commission Nov. 18, alleging illegal sewage overflows. A commission spokeswoman said at the time that the suit was expected and that the commission was discussing a settlement with the federal government.

Staff researcher Bobbye Pratt contributed to this article.

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