Governor Hogan's Ethics Reform Bill Passes General Assembly
Fraud and corruption have been huge issues in the Maryland General Assembly, particularly within the Democratic Party. In just the last four months, four different Democratic members have been connected to using their position for personal financial gain. In response to this growing "Culture of Corruption," Governor Larry Hogan put forward House Bill 879 - The Public Integrity Act of 2017, which passed the Maryland General Assembly, and will now head to his desk to be signed.
The bill will:
- Revise the provisions governing ethics for State Officials, Elected Officials, and Lobbyists
- Expand the application of conflict of interest rules
- Establish the Citizens Advisory Board on Legislative Ethics (CABLE) to recommend changes to the Maryland Public Ethics Law
One of the reasons it was very clear this bill was needed was the case of Delegate Dan Morhaim. Morhaim was being paid as a consultant by a medical marijuana company while also moving legislation on the subject matter. This is one of many issues that is being addressed by Governor Hogan's bill. Other Democrats who have run into issues this session include:
- Delegate Will Campos: Pleaded guilty to accepting bribes for official favors on January 5th. He accepted $40,000 to $50,000 in bribes and kickbacks.
- Delegate Michael Vaughn: Indicted on federal bribery and wire fraud charges for accepting thousands of dollars of cash in exchange for supporting bills dealing with liquor laws. He also stole money from his campaign committee for personal use.
- Senator Nathaniel Oaks: Charged with federal wire fraud for accepting cash payments in exchange for using his position to influence a development project.
We thank Governor Hogan for making ethics reform a priority and putting forward this bill!