AGENDA ITEM 14
Faden, Senior Legislative Attorney
Expedited Bi1137-10, Ethics
Ethics Commission - Staff
Management and Fiscal Policy Committee recommendation: enact.
Expedited Bill 37-10, Ethics - Ethics Commission - Staff, sponsored by the Management
and Fiscal Policy Committee, was introduced on June 15. A public hearing was held on July 13,
and a Committee worksession on July 15.
Bill 37-10, which resulted from the Management and Fiscal Policy
Committee's review of the Commission's operating budget, would:
• authorize the Ethics Commission, rather than the Chief Administrative Officer, to
appoint and remove the Commission's staff director/chief counsel, who would
replace the current Commission Executive Director;
• require the staff director/chief counsel to be a lawyer licensed to practice in
Maryland, and authorize the staff director/chief counsel to advise and represent
the Commission independent of the County Attorney;
• clarify the working relationship between the Commission and the County
• authorize the staff director/chief counsel to appoint, supervise, and remove other
Commission staff; and
• exempt Commission staff from membership in a collective bargaining unit.
The Committee's purpose in introducing these amendments was to enhance the independence
and value of the Commission.
All speakers at the hearing held on July 13, including the current and
former chairs of the County Ethics Commission and the staff director of the Anne Arundel
County Ethics Commission, supported this Bill as introduced (see testimony, ©9-14). The
County Executive did not testify or send a representative to the hearing, but later submitted a
memo (see ©15-16) expressing concerns with the Bill and urging that the law retain the County
Attorney's current role.