The Town Council of Brentwood voted 4-to-1 to remove council member John A. Farrell from the office of vice mayor last week, on the basis that he misused his position by writing a personal letter on town stationary to the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission complaining about his water bill.
The council also removed Farrell as representative to the Prince George's County Community Development Advisory Committee. However, Farrell will retain his Ward 1 council seat and chairmanship of the town's Cable Television Authority.
Farrell sent copies of the Nov. 9 letter complaining of an excessively high water bill to Prince George's County Executive Parris Glendening, County Council member Anthony Cicoria, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and WSSC commissioner Johanna Norris.
"It appeared that he was using his office to gain personal attention," council member Lydia McConell said later. "It's improper to use a political office for a personal matter; as an elected official there is no excuse for it."
Farrell, who could not be reached for comment, was appointed to the council in 1981 and was elected to it in 1983. He was appointed vice mayor by the council in 1983. Farrell is up for reelection in 1985.