Fairfax County Supervisors took turns this week sounding off at a government-funded research report on corruption among public officials that cited Fairfax County as one of nine jurisdictions studies that had experienced such corruption.
The board decided to send letters to SRI, formerly known as Stanford Research Institute, the group that conducted the report, and to the Law Enforcement Assistance Agency which gave $265,000 to SRI to produce the report. In the letters, the supervisors will ask about what prompted the study and how it will be used.
Supervisor John P. Shacochis (R-Dranesville) suggested that the letter "be worded strongly, to make it clear we resent implications that Fairfax County is still a dishonest county."
The report said out of 10 jurisdictions studied for public corruption, only one, Arlington Heights, III, was found to have been free of corruption. The report, released early this week, referred to Fairfax County public officials having received bribes for favorable zoning decisions in the form of campaign contributions and no-interest loans in the early sixties.
Investigations into the zoning scandal resulted in the convictions of three former supervisors in 1965-66. One other supervisor was indicted but not convicted.
"This is a disservice to elected officials, staff and the citizens of Fairfax County," said board member Alan H. Magazine (D-Mason). "There is no reasonable reason to dredge up the problems of 20 years ago now. I am very upset about this."
He said the report hurts the image of the county "right at a time when we are trying to attract business and industry."
Board Chairman John F. Herrity called the report "a fraudulent use of taxpayers' money . . . if they (LEAA) really want to spend some money, they should do a study on themselves.
"To spend $260,000 or thereabouts to look at things that happened 20 years ago means that taxpayers have been defrauded, in my mind."