Councilman violates charter by holding county and state jobs

October 25, 2011

Considering that just two years ago Baltimore County Councilman Kenneth N. Oliver pleaded guilty to a criminal charge of misappropriating campaign funds, the emerging scandal regarding his apparent violation of a county charter provision barring council members from working for the state suggests that he has, at minimum, a rather cavalier attitude toward ethics and the law ("Balto. County councilman's work for state may be charter violation," Oct. 21).

There is, however, an even more egregious aspect of this situation than the shenanigans of one local government official.

Councilman Oliver's state job is at the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, an agency heavily populated by political cronies and other insiders that has entirely failed in its primary mission of fostering private sector employment in Maryland.

Indeed, for the year ending April 30, Maryland was ranked 49th among the states in private-sector job growth.

Granted, DBED has been struggling against the head winds generated by the O'Malley administration's ardently anti-business policies and practices.

But padding the payroll with yet another good old boy, especially in these circumstances, is adding insult to injury.

Barry C. Steel, Phoenix

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