Montgomery County Council agrees to outside legal advice for IG

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By Miranda S. Spivack
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 17, 2009; 6:21 PM

The Montgomery County Council approved a measure Tuesday to provide independent legal advice to the county's inspector general, whose office investigates allegations of waste, fraud and abuse in county government.

The measure, introduced by council member Valerie Ervin (D-Silver Spring), is aimed at avoiding potential conflicts of interest in the county attorney's office when it finds itself representing the inspector general and other county government offices during probes by the inspector general's office.

Montgomery established its inspector general's office in 1997 when it approved a bill introduced by now-County Executive Isiah Leggett (D).

Ervin's bill was approved on a vote of 8 to 1, with council member Marc Elrich (D-At Large) dissenting.

The new law, which takes effect Wednesday, allows Inspector General Thomas J. Dagley to ask the County Council to approve requests for outside legal counsel.

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