GOP upset over decision to delay ethics probesThe state...

Assembly Digest

March 18, 1998|By From staff reports

GOP upset over decision to delay ethics probes

The state Republican Party assailed a co-chairman of the General Assembly's ethics committee yesterday for deciding to delay any probe of media-generated allegations of ethics violations by legislators until the session ends.

"This is outrageous," said Joyce Lyons Terhes, state GOP chair. "The Democrat leadership for too long has abused their power, and now we are seeing the results."

Sen. Michael J. Collins, a Baltimore County Democrat who co-chairs the ethics panel, said Monday the committee would not be able to look into an article about Del. Nathaniel Exum, a Prince George's Democrat, until after the April 13 adjournment. The Washington Post reported Sunday that Exum lobbied county officials on behalf of his employer.

Senators' bid to revive abortion issue rejected

An attempt by Senate moderates to revive the abortion issue failed yesterday when they failed to muster enough votes to allow the bill to be introduced this late in the session.

Sen. Thomas M. Middleton, a Southern Maryland Democrat whose vote last month helped doom a broadly worded ban on a controversial late-term abortion procedure, told the Senate his new legislation was narrowly drawn to pass constitutional muster.

Middleton's effort garnered a 24-21 majority but fell well short of the two-thirds required. After the vote, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller said the issue was "over and done with" for this year.

Senate OKs bill to expand powers of state prosecutor

In what is likely a futile gesture, the Senate passed a bill yesterday that would give the state prosecutor the same powers to subpoena evidence, compel testimony and grant immunity as county state's attorneys. The bill to expand the power of the state prosecutor, who is charged with investigating political corruption cases, was approved 32-14. But senators voted knowing that a companion bill has been killed by the House Judiciary Committee.

Pub Date: 3/18/98

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