Community Calls For Councilmember's Resignation

11:46 PM, Dec 21, 2010   |    comments
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MORNINGSIDE, Md. (WUSA) - A town council meeting that typically attracts less than five community members attracted more than 50 people Tuesday night following an investigation into one council member's activity.

The issue stems from a police investigation into Regina Foster, a town council member and former police clerk.  She was accused of fixing red light camera tickets for herself and her husband, who also serves on the town council.

Police Chief Eugene Mills Jr. asked Maryland State Police to investigate independently and after reviewing what was found, he fired Foster from her duties as clerk for the town's police department last Friday.

"In law enforcement we have to have integrity and one of the things about integrity is you can not fix red light tickets," said Mills.

Many people who signed up to talk Tuesday night called for Foster's resignation.  Others made reference to the town's history of alleged corruption, including a former police chief who was accused of improper conduct.

Mills said he's aware of that history and is trying to make right.

"The fact that red light citations were avoided improperly, people are concerned about that," said Mills. "No one has been charged.  The Prince George's State's Attorney's office has declined to prosecute but said if they were to prosecute, they had enough evidence to prove there was theft under $1,000 and also to prove their was malfeasance of office."

Foster denies that she did anything wrong.  She declined an interview but read a statement during the council meeting. 

9NEWS NOW obtained a copy of her statement:

In my role as a council member I am charged with maintaining the financial integrity of this town. I'm also charged with making laws and ordinance and watching out for the towns over all best interest, and I refuse to allow Mr. Mills or anyone else take this town into debt we cannot afford.

In my duties as the administrator of the Red-Light program, I have at all times abided by the rules and regulations that have been set forth.

I was asked to resign my council seat in order for the charges to disappear. To which I found to be inaproperate. I have never violated any laws, ordinance or polices related to the Red Light Enforcement program.

I have been silent and respectful of the alleged charges lodged against me by the current Chief Mr. Mills.  It is painfully clear to me that Mr. Mills is using his power as a law enforcement officer to retaliate against me for decisions I make as a council person.  Mr. Mills' recent decision to terminate my employment was vindictive and retaliatory. 

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