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Baltimore Co. taps deputy state prosecutor to run new ethics office

Deputy State Prosecutor Kelly Madigan will lead The Baltimore County Office of Ethics and Accountability's new independent agency tasked with investigating government fraud and waste. (Submitted photo)

Deputy State Prosecutor Kelly Madigan will lead the new Baltimore County Office of Ethics and Accountability, charged with investigating government fraud and waste.
(Submitted photo)

Deputy State Prosecutor Kelly Madigan will lead Baltimore County’s new independent agency charged with investigating government fraud and waste.

County Executive Johnny Olszewski announced plans to establish the Office of Ethics and Accountability earlier this year and on Thursday named Madigan its first executive director.

“Kelly brings a wealth of experience in litigation, deep professional integrity, and a passion for government accountability,” Olszewski said in a statement. “I’m confident that she will help ensure that our government is held to the highest standards.”

Madigan’s appointment must be approved by the county council, after which she would serve a five-year term, according to a news release from the county.

On Thursday, Madigan said she would be on the job in early January and would begin building the office from scratch. Early initiatives will include setting up a website and a confidential reporting process.

“I’m kind of an army of one, so while right now it’s just me, I’m certainly committed to growing the agency,” she said. “I think once I get there, I’ll get a sense for what the need is.”

Madigan was the acting state prosecutor for more than three months after Emmet Davitt’s retirement on July 31 and applied for the vacancy, though she was not selected as a nominee. Charlton Howard III was appointed last month and was sworn in on Nov. 20.

The Office of the State Prosecutor investigates public corruption, bribery, misconduct and election law crimes. In her more than three years with the office, Madigan said she worked with the three other inspectors general in the state — in Baltimore city, Montgomery County and the Prince George’s County Police Department — and will look to those offices for guidance in her new position.

“I’m very, very excited to give Baltimore County citizens a voice, working on their behalf,” she said. “It’s an awesome responsibility.”

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