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Local Officials React to Johnson Allegations

Some Hyattsville leaders comment on how the situation affects the city.

With the and with – including three county police officers – in Prince George's County, Hyattsville's leaders speak about how the controversy affects the county and its municipalities.

Mayor William Gardiner, who has been instrumental in bringing large development into Hyattsville, said the situation bruises the area's reputation.

"The allegations of corruption in the recent past, and now the arrests, make it that much more difficult to build confidence in local government and to attract commercial investment," he said. "It is damaging to all municipalities in the county.  The new county executive and county council must enact policies and practices that will create a transparent and effective government, and will ensure punishment for those who break the law."

Longtime Councilwoman Ruth Ann Frazier (Ward 5) called the situation "pretty sad."

"It's a sad state of affairs for the entire county," she said.

For some, the arrests did not come as a great shock.

"I'm not surprised," said Councilwoman Paula Perry (Ward 4). "[I] just [had] a gut feeling."

Perry said that she's confident in the people running Hyattsville.

"I feel that all of our officials have been open and honest," she said, adding that she doesn't think the alleged actions of an unnamed developer mentioned in Monday's indictment reflects on Hyattsville, with all its new residential and commercial projects.

"In our area we've had so many different developments," she said.

Councilman Douglas Dudrow (Ward 1) said he also doesn't think there will be a dramatic effect on Hyattsville.

"We didn't really have much dealings with him on the day-to-day," he said.

All Hyattsville City Council members, and County Councilman Will Campos (Dist. 2) were contacted for this article. Those not quoted did not respond as of press time. Councilman William Tierney declined comment.

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