Conclusion of the Joint Committee
The Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics (Joint Committee), pursuant to the December 3, 1997 request of the Presiding Officers of the General Assembly to conduct a thorough review of recent allegations of improprieties on the part of Senator Larry Young and to investigate all aspects of the Senator's business practices as they relate to his position in the legislature, submits its report with recommendations to the president of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Delegates, adopted by unanimous vote of the Joint Committee on this date.
Summary of recommendations
Based on careful and thorough consideration of the evidence and the issues before it, and for the reasons set forth in detail in this Report. the Joint Committee recommends to the Presiding Officers that
1. The president of the Senate remove Senator Larry Young immediately as a member of the Senate leadership, as Chairman of any committee or subcommittee, and as a member of all standing, statutory, joint, and select committees and subcommittees of the Senate of Maryland.
2. The President of the Senate submit to the Senate, and the full Senate adopt, a resolution of censure expressing the Senate's disapproval of Senator Young's actions, based upon his activities as set forth in this Report of the Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics.
3. The President of the Senate submit to the Senate, and the full Senate consider, a resolution to expel Senator Larry Young from the Senate of Maryland, based upon his activities as set forth in this Report of the Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics.
The Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics makes the following additional recommendations that:
1. The President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Delegates request that the Governor initiate a formal review of State contracts, bidding procedures. and vendor practices applicable to the public healthcare industry in Maryland, with institution of penalty, suspension and debarment proceedings. if warranted.
2. The President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Delegates review compliance with the "Guidelines for Compensation and Expenses for Legislators" to better identify monitor. and enforce the appropriate standards for the use of public funds to pay legislative district office, telephone and other expenses of members of the General Assembly.
3. The President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Delegates undertake in the 1998 Session of the General Assembly a renewed program of education and enforcement with respect to the ethical obligations of its members.
On December 3, 1997, the Presiding Officers sent a letter to the Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics requesting that the Joint Committee convene immediately to make a thorough review of recent allegations of improprieties on the part of Senator Larry Young: The Joint Committee was asked to investigate all aspects of the Senator's business practice; as they related to his position in the legislature and to report back to the presiding Officers prior to the beginning of the 1998 Legislative Session. On December 16, 1997, the co-chairmen of the Joint Committee suggested that the report remain limited to addressing potential violations of the Public Ethics Laws.
Because this matter was referred to the Joint Committee by the presiding Officers and given the short response time set by the ** Presiding Officers, the Joint Committee determined that it was operating under the statutory authority of 2-706(5) of the State Government Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland, which provides that the Joint Committee shall "at the request of the President or the Speaker, make recommendations concerning matters referred to the Committee." Under that authority, the Joint Committee established a schedule for its review and investigation of the allegations and for its report to the Presiding Officers. Senator Young was informed of the schedule by letter dated December 5, 1997.
The Joint Committee met in a closed executive session on
December 9, 1997 to review a list of allegations prepared by counsel to the Joint Committee. Each allegation in the list contained alleged facts of the specific activity and the specific statutory provisions of the Public Ethics Laws that may have been violated as a result of the activity. To provide Senator Young with a fair opportunity to respond to the allegations made against him, the Joint Committee voted to send a list of the enumerated allegations to Senator Young along with a request for relevant documentation or other evidence relating to the allegations. The list of allegations and request for documentation was hand-delivered to Senator Young in his Baltimore office on December 9, 1997.