Nepotism Made EasyIt has been reported in the press that...


January 29, 1995

Nepotism Made Easy

It has been reported in the press that Sheriff George Johnson hired his brother-in-law to work part-time for the Anne Arundel County Sheriff's Department, but terminated the employment two weeks later because of the obvious nepotism ramifications.

Sheriff Johnson's mistake was not in hiring his brother-in-law, but in his failure to consult in advance with his state senator and his county executive. They would have advised the sheriff how he could practice nepotism and get away with it. They have been doing it for many years.

They practice it with their wives rather than more distant relatives and on a full-time rather than part-time basis. As a result of enormous influence in the state and local governments, the senator's spouse is currently on the dole at more than $80,000 per year while the county executive's wife must be satisfied with $60,000-plus in her role of supervising one county employee, or so it has been reported in the papers.

Sheriff Johnson is new. Though he was aware that nepotism is an acceptable practice in the present Maryland political environment, he did not have the sophistication to make it legal. Most observers agree, however, that when these officials come under the umbrella of the law, they still fall short ethically.

Bill D. Burlison


Cpl. March's Transfer

The board of directors of the Sun Valley Improvement and Recreation Association is distressed to learn about the transfer of Cpl. Gordon March to the Southern District. Corporal March started and has been the mainstay of the "Take Back Our Streets" program in Freetown Village since its inception. Corporal March is well liked and has the respect of the community.

Corporal March and the other officers assigned to this program have done much to reduce crime in the Freetown area. The county police presence in Freetown Village provides spinoff benefits to us, too. For example, we get rapid response to emergency calls. Police Department-sponsored after-school tutoring sessions at Freetown Elementary include our children too. Officers, including Corporal March, volunteer their off-duty time to accompany students on field trips.

Corporal March lends a willing ear to listen to our concerns when we suspect a problem is spilling over into our community. He passes this information on to other officers in the program so they can keep an eye on the situation. This type of attitude makes him a very valuable asset to both communities. He cares about people and his job.

Is this transfer necessary? Is it wise? Apart from the emotional impact on the community, how will this transfer impact the effectiveness of the "Take Back Our Streets" program?

Archie Mazzatenta

Glen Burnie

The writer is president of the Sun Valley Improvement and Recreation Association.

Connie Chung's Word

Once again some opinionated individual says that we are too stupid to figure out what is right and not right with what goes on in Washington circles. Usually it is politicians who say we don't know what is good for us or we just don't understand.

This time, however, it is Michael Olesker, saying that we are missing the point on the Chung/Newt's mom uproar. It is, however, Mr. Olesker who doesn't get the point.

The point is that Newt's mom is from a time when honesty and integrity were the norms, not the lying, cheating and viciousness that society and particularly the news media have taken to in this day and age.

Ms. Chung told Mrs. Gingrich that her comment would be between the two of them only. I don't want to hear that because the mikes and cameras were there Mrs. Gingrich should have known that her comment would be aired.

No Michael, Mrs. Gingrich took Ms. Chung at her word which in our day would have been golden. She expected Ms. Chung to keep her word and have that portion edited out of the conversation. Shame on Ms. Chung. . . . No one should be condemned for speaking the truth.

Lee Neat


Holiday Sharing Success

The holidays are over, but the generosity of Anne Arundel County citizens helping less fortunate families is not to be forgotten. The Holiday Sharing Program has just completed a successful year in matching more than 5,000 needy families and senior citizens to individuals and groups in the county who provided food, clothing and toys to these families/seniors for a special Christmas.

A heartfelt thanks goes to Jones Intercable, who as a special promotion, collected food and toys from subscribers and was thus able to help 50 county families enjoy a happier holiday season.

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