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By Walter F. Roche Jr. and Walter F. Roche Jr.,SUN STAFF | December 14, 1999
The task force examining the state Injured Workers Insurance Fund recommended yesterday that the agency's governing board be expanded, and members hinted they'll abandon a proposal to exempt the agency from state ethics and public meetings laws.The task force voted unanimously during a two-hour session to recommend that IWIF's board of directors expand from seven to 11 members to better manage the $1 billion operation. They rejected proposals to require that some of those board members have expertise in a particular field, such as insurance.
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NEWS
By Tim Craig and Tim Craig,SUN STAFF | May 15, 2003
Maryland ranks high among states for the quality of its disclosure regulations for lobbyists but still gets a poor overall grade because the information needs to be more accessible to the public, according to a government watchdog organization based in Washington. The Center for Public Integrity gave Maryland a "D" for efforts to regulate lobbyists and make their activities available for public viewing. The state's sub-par grade was still better than those of 41 other states, highlighting the low priority of lobbying reform in most state legislatures.
NEWS
By Thomas W. Waldron and Thomas W. Waldron,SUN STAFF | March 12, 1998
Responding to ethics controversies that have dominated the legislative session, House Speaker Casper R. Taylor Jr. proposed yesterday that the General Assembly create a new ethics office to help police the behavior of its members.The Office of Legislative Ethics Advisory Services -- with a full-time director and support staff -- would work with the Assembly's ethics committee and subject the 188 senators and delegates to what would amount to regular ethics checkups.Taylor said he was less concerned with catching and punishing lawmakers who break the law than with helping all legislators comply.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser and Michael Dresser,SUN STAFF | June 15, 2002
The state Department of Human Resources said yesterday that Annapolis lobbyist Bruce C. Bereano met with its officials on behalf of the winning bidder on a disputed $42 million contract even though he is not registered to represent the organization. Elyn Garrett-Jones, a spokesman for the Department of Human Resources, said that Bereano conducted two meetings in April with department procurement officials concerning details of the lucrative foster care contract that had been awarded to the nonprofit Adoptions Together.
NEWS
By Thomas W. Waldron and Thomas W. Waldron,SUN STAFF | February 21, 2001
Despite the misgivings of a handful of lawmakers, the Maryland Senate gave overwhelming approval yesterday to sweeping legislation that would tighten restrictions on the ever-growing contingent of State House lobbyists. A key plank of the bill would allow the State Ethics Commission to essentially license lobbyists, and the panel could ban lobbyists who break the law from practicing in Annapolis. The legislation, which passed 43-4, largely mirrors a bill approved earlier this month by the House of Delegates.
NEWS
By GREG GARLAND and GREG GARLAND,SUN REPORTER | April 27, 2006
The spouse of a Department of General Services official who oversees the sale of surplus state property was allowed to purchase a used car directly from a Maryland agency at a price below what it likely would have sold for at auction, according to an audit released yesterday. Legislative auditors said the June sale "appears to have violated state ethics law and a prior ethics opinion" and referred the matter to the State Ethics Commission for review. The transaction -- which came to auditors' attention through a tip to a fraud hot line -- prompted General Services Secretary Boyd K. Rutherford to order policy changes in January.
NEWS
By Tom Pelton and Tom Pelton,SUN STAFF | December 4, 1997
Under pressure from the state, Anne Arundel County is moving to strengthen its ethics laws so that elected officials undergo reviews intended to prevent conflicts of interest.The County Council will hold a hearing Dec. 15 on an ordinance that would end the "self-enforcing" of county ethics laws by council members and the county executive.Under the proposed law, elected officials who wanted to take a vote or an action in which they had a personal financial interest would first have to submit a written explanation to the county Ethics Commission for a ruling.
NEWS
By Steven Stanek and Steven Stanek,Sun reporter | July 23, 2008
County Executive John R. Leopold has asked the Anne Arundel County Ethics Commission to issue a special exemption allowing off-duty police officers to work second jobs at bingo halls and other establishments that serve alcohol, a stance the commission has long opposed. The request came Friday, the same day that the Maryland Ethics Commission said that a county bill allowing police officers to moonlight at such establishments was invalid because it does not conform to the state's ethics law. The state ruled that permission could be granted only through a special exemption granted by the county ethics commission, which has argued in the past that police officers who work secondary jobs in alcohol-serving establishments may be tempted to overlook minor illegal activity there.
NEWS
By Walter F. Roche Jr. and Scott Higham and Walter F. Roche Jr. and Scott Higham,SUN STAFF | January 15, 1998
Lawyers for embattled state Sen. Larry Young mounted a last-minute, but apparently futile, appeal yesterday to delay tomorrow's vote on a resolution to expel him from the Senate.In a letter to Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Young's lawyers charged that the West Baltimore legislator was not given a chance to confront or cross-examine the witnesses whotestified against him, as allowed under the state ethics law.Instead, said Young's attorney Gregg L. Bernstein, the legislature's ethics committee used an abbreviated process to meet a preimposed deadline.
NEWS
October 16, 1996
THE CONTROVERSY surrounding Howard County Councilman C. Vernon Gray's fund-raising to run for a non-political office demonstrated the need to close a loophole in an arcane area of state law. Despite assertions by state Ethics Commission Director John O'Donnell that Maryland's laws governing gifts and political contributions are "supposed to be seamless," a gap clearly exists.The Howard County Ethics Commission summed up the controversy: "Can a council member solicit campaign contributions for the non-political office of second vice president for [the National Association of Counties]
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