Cheverly voters rejected a move to recall Town Council member Francis H. George yesterday, reaffirming him in office by a vote of 101 to 50.
The election, the first of its kind in the Prince George's County town in recent memory, was scheduled after a petition drive cited George for alleged "misfeasance" in office.
The council had censured George for "failure to properly control" more than $670 in town funds paid him to cover expenses during a Maryland Muncipal League convention last June, but found that he had not violated the town's ethics code. George, who is president of the Municipal League, denied any wrongdoing and has repaid the funds.
George said that "it is good to have the episode behind us. I certainly do not take any pleasure in it [the vote]. Everybody comes out of this a loser. It is far from Cheverly's finest hour."
George blamed Mayor Alan Dwyer and the other council members for allowing what he described as "a matter of political rivalry, peronal animosity and probably an element of jealousy" to be used as a tool to discredit him.
"This whole matter . . . should never have been made an issue and betrays a lack of leadership at the highest levels in Cheverly," he said. "Unfortunately, the current candidates for mayor offer no relief."
Dwyer, who is seeking reelection May 5 and is opposed by council member Patricia Glaser, denied that the petition drive was politically motivated.
"The council had no alternative but to proceed with the election" after citizens submitted the petition, he said.