Alexandria Mayor James P. Moran Jr., launching what he said will be a continuing assault on the ethics of Rep. Stan Parris (R-Va.), accused Parris yesterday of engaging in conflict of interest while on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors 26 years ago.

Moran issued a statement recalling a 1964 incident involving Parris and an Arlington real estate developer, Ralph Stowe. According to facts that were never disputed, Parris voted for several rezonings sought by Stowe at a time when Stowe had borrowed more than $90,000 from him. The rezonings passed, giving Stowe permission to build high-rise apartments in a neighborhood where residents opposed them.

Moran, a Democrat, is challenging Parris to represent Northern Virginia's 8th Congressional District.

Virginia had no laws barring such votes at the time, and Parris was never accused of acting illegally.

But three years later, when he ran unsuccessfully for chairman of the county board, Parris said he "might have been guilty of a political misjudgment" when he cast the votes.

"It was unethical and it should have been illegal," Moran said. "Had today's laws existed at the time, {Parris} would have been unequivocally guilty of criminal conflict of interest.

"We know the vast majority of voters in Northern Virginia are not aware of Parris's record because this is a very transient area. We feel this was the beginning of a pattern in which {Parris} put the interests of his friends and partners in the development industry above the interests of the citizens he was elected to serve."

A spokesman for Parris, Mark Strand, said that Stowe incident "was thoroughly investigated about a quarter of a century ago and the allegations {of illegality} were found to be without substance." He declined to comment further.

Moran described his statement yesterday as a counterattack against Parris on the conflict-of-interest issue.

In recent weeks, Northern Virginia Republicans have accused Moran of violating federal campaign finance laws, allegations he has denied.

GOP leaders have also referred repeatedly to an incident in the early 1980s in which Moran pleaded no contest to a conflict of interest charge and resigned from Alexandria City Council.

"Rather than continue to turn the other cheek, we need to start setting the record straight with regard to my opponent," Moran said in a statement.

"I have made mistakes during my political career," Moran said.

"However, none of them involved any personal gain whatsoever," he said.