Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown officially leaves office Wednesday but one could make the case that he might have checked out a whole lot earlier.
Brown, who earns $125,000 annually—roughly $10,000 a month in taxpayer money—in his position, has been largely absent from the State House. His state vehicle has been missing from its prime parking space on State Circle on all but a handful of occasions including the day Brian Frosh was sworn in as attorney general and a sighting reported on Twitter placing Brown in New Mexico at a function sponsored by the Lieutenant Governor’s Association. His official twitter accounts have been dormant since mid-December.
Brown’s absence was noticed by other reporters. The Washington Post wrote Tuesday morning:
“After largely dropping out of sight for two months, Brown, a retired Army reservist, re-emerged last week in the familiar role of loyal soldier.”
The closest anyone has come to an explanation about Brown’s whereabouts and doings was that same article in which Brown said he has “taken the last several weeks to take stock in myself and where I am in life, both professionally and personally.”
Presumably all in an undisclosed location outside of Annapolis
What Brown has been doing exactly remains a bit of a mystery. Perhaps he was on vacation. The exact amount of time off the governor and lieutenant receives is somewhat squishy according to some who previously worked in the executive branch.
His office has ignored a Maryland Public Information Act request filed by The Daily Record for Brown’s daily appointment calendar since the election. His staff accepted the request in early December and promised to respond within the required 30 days. That promise went unfulfilled and Lauren Gibbs, his spokeswoman, has not responded repeated emails and calls seeking an update.
Gibbs initially said the request would be forwarded to a lawyer. We checked last week with the Office of the Attorney General who referred us the the lawyer for the governor. A spokesman for Gov. Martin J. O’Malley said he would look into the matter but there’s been no further response.
Brown leaves office Wednesday and the request goes unfulfilled after 45 days. There’s no punishment for ignoring a request—something that state Del. Jill Carter wants to change.
Hogan and his running mate, Lt. Gov.-elect Boyd Rutherford are sworn-in Wednesday morning.
There is some who think the lieutenant governor’s office should be abolished under Hogan including columnist Barry Rascovar.
“If we learned anything from Anthony Brown’s eight years as Maryland lieutenant governor it’s that the office isn’t worth the taxpayer dollars it consumes,” Rascovar wrote.
In the meantime, if Rutherford comes into the office and finds an envelope with a bunch of copied Brown appointment calendar pages, would someone ask him to forward them here?