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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.
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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 Melissa Harris and Melissa Harris,sun reporter | June 29, 2007
Diebold Election Systems withdrew a sales brochure yesterday featuring Maryland Elections Administrator Linda H. Lamone praising the company's equipment after the governor and watchdog groups questioned whether the endorsement violated state ethics laws. Diebold labeled the glossy, four-page brochure a "case study" of Maryland's experience with the ExpressPoll-5000 voter check-in equipment, which made its national debut in the state last year. The marketing piece was distributed to potential clients at trade shows.
NEWS
By Greg Garland and Greg Garland,SUN STAFF | May 18, 2005
A top Maryland transportation official inappropriately oversaw $3.3 million in poorly documented consulting work done for the state by a company that employs her husband, according to an audit report released yesterday. The auditors, who turned their findings over to law enforcement authorities for review, said the official's actions appear to violate state ethics law and internal policies of the Maryland Department of Transportation governing conflicts of interest. Auditors did not name the "senior management official" in their report, but a source familiar with the investigation identified her as Marsha J. Kaiser, director of the office of planning and capital programming for the Transportation Department.
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 Larry Carson and Larry Carson,SUN STAFF | February 6, 2004
Robert J. Antonetti Sr., the Howard County elections administrator who defied a state Court of Appeals order to pay an ethics fine incurred during his tenure in Prince George's County and sued the county elections board last year for more pay, has settled the case and agreed to retire March 31 -- four weeks after Maryland's presidential primary. His departure will end a tumultuous 3 1/2 -year term marked by legal wrangling over his refusal to pay an ethics fine, the fatal heart attack of the county board chairman during a close 2002 vote recount, and the first use of the electronic voting technology that Antonetti publicly doubted could be ready on time.
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 ANDREW A. GREEN and ANDREW A. GREEN,SUN REPORTER | March 9, 2006
The Maryland State Ethics Commission and a subcommittee of the state university system's Board of Regents are reviewing allegations that regents Chairman David H. Nevins violated state ethics rules by lobbying the legislature on behalf of his employer, Constellation Energy. The ethics commission received a complaint last week about Nevins, which by law triggers a preliminary investigation by its staff. Commission officials are prohibited from confirming whether they are investigating conduct by a public official.
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.
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