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Eye on Annapolis

The Daily Record's Maryland state government blog

Hogan: ‘Somebody dropped the ball’ vetting Md. school board nominee

Gov. Larry Hogan said that the court records of a state school board nominee who withdrew his name from consideration should have been picked up through a vetting process in his office. 5a-hogan-larry-interview061mf

“I think somebody dropped the ball on that one,” Hogan said Wednesday. “I know that there was a vetting process. I’m not sure what happened.”

Brandon Cooper, 28, of Prince George’s County, withdrew his name from consideration for an appointment to the Maryland State Board of Education Tuesday — just one day after facing difficult questions about his record which includes failure to pay state income taxes, multiple eviction proceedings and a court record that included charges for driving under the influence and failures to appear in court.

The record, spotlighted by Democrats on the Senate Executive Nominations Committee, also drew attention and criticism to Hogan, who wants local political central committees to perform criminal background checks on candidates recommended to fill vacancies in the General Assembly.

Hogan did not offer a definitive explanation of how Cooper’s record avoided the attention of his appointments office but said the vetting process should have flagged those issues.

“It absolutely should have,” Hogan said.

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