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Md. towns, counties balk at ethics reform

WESTMINSTER — Many Maryland municipalities are balking at a state law aimed at stiffening their ethics rules.

The Carroll County Times reports Thursday that nearly three-quarters of municipalities are claiming at least partial exemptions because of their size, budget constraints or because the rules would discourage people from running for office.

The law passed in 2010 requires municipalities, county governments and local school boards to have rules on conflicts of interest and financial disclosure that are as stringent as those for state offices. The law took effect Oct. 1, 2011.

The State Ethics Commission says many governments are on the verge of complying. But the Maryland Municipal League says the courts may have to decide whether the commission has authority over local ethics rules.

One comment

  1. Didn’t we just see an article that criticized the State Ethics Reform as being window-dressing?

    Maryland was ranked at the bottom of the Center for Public Integrity study for state fraud and corruption because of extreme structural issues that scream ‘unaccountability’ least of which is the power that has been given to Executives at all levels of state government.

    Second is the existence of an auditing system that has such a small focus as to be useless. Many audits are simply auditing the existence of oversight mechanisms but do not look at the data collected to see if there is actual fraud.

    Third is the complete capture of all legal resources by the Governor’s and Count/City Executive’s offices. I have never seen a case where as hard as you try to move a case against a government agency you will not find someone that can/will handle it. So, the problems are many…..they are systemic…..they are deliberate. The public needs to start with elections and vote not only your incumbent out of office but find candidates that are not already apart of this broken system.