Driving Mr. Young Busy chauffeur: He drove senator around while also working full-time for city.

December 16, 1997

PEARLY BLUE JR. certainly was busy this past summer and fall. While holding down a full-time, 40-hour a week city sanitation job, he also spent his days and nights acting as chauffeur for state Sen. Larry Young, who said he personally paid the driver for his services. When the sanitation job ended, Mr. Young persuaded a fellow legislator in his West Baltimore district to put Mr. Blue on her state payroll -- even as the driver continued to transport Mr. Young to his numerous appointments.

This latest revelation from Sun reporters Walter F. Roche Jr. and Scott Higham raises new questions about Senator Young's activities and the apparent lack of a firm dividing wall between his duties as a powerful state legislator and his personal business enterprises.

As a 12-member joint ethics committee of the Maryland General Assembly delves into Mr. Young's affairs, it ought to ask some tough questions about these apparent conflicts. Was Mr. Blue chauffeuring the state senator while supposedly hard at work for the city's Department of Public Works? Was the city job and Mr. Blue's staff position under Del. Ruth Kirk merely a way to disguise his role as Senator Young's driver? Or did Mr. Young pay Mr. Blue even as the driver picked up a second paycheck from the city, and later from Delegate Kirk?

Perhaps the biggest question is how Mr. Blue managed to be in two places at the same time. The only way he could have pulled this off was to collect trash from city streets while waiting to drive Senator Young to his next appointment.

Surely, the state prosecutor's office was intrigued by this latest turn of events. And the joint legislative ethics panel cannot ignore what seems to be a case of unsenatorial behavior by Mr. Young in masterminding this complex -- and highly dubious -- arrangement.

Pub Date: 12/16/97

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