Ethics committee won't probe allegations against Shore legislator, lawyer says


The Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics has decided not to investigate allegations that Sen. Richard F. Colburn required a former aide to write college term papers for him, the senator's lawyer said yesterday.

The former aide, Gregory Dukes, requested that the committee investigate his allegations, but Colburn attorney Timothy Maloney said the committee wrote to the Eastern Shore Republican to say it was dismissing the complaint. "He got a letter saying they were not investigating," Maloney said.

Dukes wrote to the committee last month to allege that Colburn required him to write papers for the senator's courses at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and to conduct other personal business for the senator on state time.

The Sun reported last month that Colburn withdrew from UMES after Dukes complained to school officials that he had written five papers for two of the senator's sociology courses last year. Colburn, 55, was seeking his bachelor's degree.

Dukes said he was not surprised or upset by the decision. "The main goal was to clear my conscience," he said. "The people who live in his district, at least ... they can make an educated response next time they vote."

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