AGENDA ITEM 20
June 15,2010
Introduction
MEMORANDUM
TO:
FROM:
County Council
~
Michael Faden, Senior Legislative Attorney
Introduction:
Expedited Bill 37-10, Ethics - Ethics Commission - Staff
SUBJECT:
Expedited Bill 37-10, Ethics - Ethics Commission - Staff, sponsored by the Management
and Fiscal Policy Committee, is scheduled to be introduced on June 15, 2010. A public hearing
is tentatively scheduled for July 13.
Bill 37-10 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
Attorney;
• 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.
This packet contains:
Bi1l37-10
Legislative Request Report
F:\LA W\BILLS\I 037 Ethics Commission Restructuring\lntro Memo.Doc
Circle
1
5
 PDF to HTML - Convert PDF files to HTML files
Expedited Bill No.
37-10
Conceming: Ethics - Ethics Commission
- Staff
Draft No. 4
Revised:
6/11/10
Introduced:
June 15, 2010
Expires:
December 15,2011
Enacted: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Executive: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Effective: _---:-:--_ _ _ _ _ __
Sunset Date:
_N~o~n:_:e~__::--
_ _ _-
Ch. _ _, Laws of Mont. Co. _ __
COUNTY COUNCIL
FOR MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND
By: Management and Fiscal Policy Committee
AN EXPEDITED ACT
to:
(1)
revise the process to appoint and remove staff for the Ethics Commission;
(2)
require the Commission staff director to be an attorney;
(3)
modify how the Commission may receive legal advice and services;
(4)
exempt staff ofthe Commission from any collective bargaining unit; and
(5)
generally amend County law related to the Ethics Commission.
By amending
Montgomery County Code
Chapter 19A, Ethics
Section 19A-5
Boldface
Underlining
[Single boldface brackets]
Qo.uble underlining
[[Double boldface bracketsll
* *
*
Heading or defined term.
Added to existing law by original bill.
Deletedjrom existing law by original bill.
Added by amendment.
Deletedjrom existing law or the bill by amendment.
Existing law unqffected by bill.
The County Council for Montgomery County, Maryland approves the following Act.'
 PDF to HTML - Convert PDF files to HTML files
EXPEDITED BILL No.
37-10
1
Sec. 1. Section 19A-5 is amended as follows:
19A-5.
(f)
Ethics Commission
2
3
4
5
*
Administrative Support.
(1)
*
*
The Commission must be allocated merit system staff, separate
office space, equipment, and supplies within the limits of the
Commission's appropriations. [The Chief Administrative Officer
appoints or assigns staff to the Commission after receiving a
recommendation from the Commission. Subject to the general
supervision of the Chief Administrative Officer, assigned]
Commission staff serve at the Commission's direction [of the
Commission] to perform duties assigned by the Commission.
The Commission must appoint
f!
staff director/chief counsel to
perform duties assigned
by
the Commission, and may remove the
staff director/chief counsel. Subject to the general supervision of
the Commission, the staff director/chief counsel must appoint and
supervise and may remove other Commission staff.
The
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
appointment, retention, and removal of all Commission staff must
be subject to applicable merit system laws and regulations. The
staff director/chief counsel must be an attorney licensed to
practice law in Maryland, and may advise and represent the
Commission without the approval or supervision of the County
Attorney.
(2)
The Commission may ask the County Attorney to provide an
opinion on any legal issue relating to the Commission's duties.
(3) The County Attorney
must~
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
on request of the Commission,
[However, the
provide the Commission with legal services.
o
f:\law\bills\1037 ethics commission restructuring\1037 bill4.doc
 PDF to HTML - Convert PDF files to HTML files
EXPEDITED BILL
No. 37-10
28
29
County Attorney may employ special legal counsel to the
Commission under Section 213 of the Charter.]
The County
30
31
Attorney must provide an attorney to prosecute a case before the
Commission under Section 19A-I 0 unless the Commission
assigns or retains
~
32
33
34
35
different attorney or other staff member to
perform that function.
An
individual attorney in the office of the
County Attorney who is assigned to provide general legal advice
to the Commission must not be an investigator under Section
19A-9 or prosecute a case before the Commission under Section
19A-IO for one year after the attorney's Ethics Commission
assignment ends.
36
37
38
39
40
*
33-102.
Definitions.
*
*
Sec. 2. Section 33-102 is amended as follows:
41
42
43
44
The following terms have the meaning indicated when used in this [article]
Article:
*
(4)
*
*
45
Employee
means any person who works for the County
46
government, except:
47
48
*
(G)
(i)
(ii)
(iii)
(iv)
(v)
(vi)
*
*
an employee who works for:
the Office of the County Executive;
the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer;
the County Council;
the Office of the County Attorney;
the Office of Management and Budget;
the Office of Intergovernmental Relations;
49
50
51
52
53
54
Q
f:\law\bills\1037 ethics commission restructuring\1037 bill4.doc
 PDF to HTML - Convert PDF files to HTML files
EXPEDITED BILL
No.
37-10
55
56
57
58
59
(vii) the Office of Human Resources;
[or]
(viii) the Merit System Protection Board; or
(ix)
the Ethics Commission;
*
*
*
Sec. 3. Expedited Effective Date; Transition.
60
61
62
The Council declares that this legislation is necessary for the immediate
protection of the public interest. This Act takes effect on the date when it becomes
law. The position of Executive Director of the Ethics Commission is abolished by
operation of law on the date that the Commission appoints a staff director/chief
counsel, as authorized by County Code Section 19A-5(t), as amended by Section 1 of
this Act.
Approved:
63
64
65
66
67
68
69
Nancy Floreen, President, County Council
Date
70
71
Approved:
72
73
Isiah Leggett, County Executive
Date
74
75
76
77
This is a correct copy ofCouncil action.
Linda M. Lauer, Clerk of the Council
Date
&1
(;"J
f:\Iaw\bills\1037 ethics commission restructuring\1037 bill4.doc
 PDF to HTML - Convert PDF files to HTML files
LEGISLATIVE REQUEST REPORT
Expedited Bill 37-10
Ethics
-
Ethics Commission
-
Staff
DESCRIPTION:
Would revise the process to appoint and remove staff for the
Ethics Commission; require the Commission staff director to be
an attorney; modify how the Commission may be provided
legal advice and services; and exempt staff of the Commission
'from any collective bargaining unit.
Recent proposed budget actions arguably could have
undermined the effectiveness and independence of the Ethics
Commission and its staff.
PROBLEM:
GOALS AND
OBJECTIVES:
To
enhance the independence of the Ethics Commission and
its staff from other elements of County government by
authorizing the Commission to select its staff director, who
could also function as the Commission's in-house attorney.
Ethics Commission,
Resources
To be requested.
Minimal.
To be requested.
County Attorney,
Office of Human
COORDINATION:
FISCAL IMPACT:
ECONOMIC
IMPACT:
EVALUATION:
EXPERIENCE
ELSEWHERE:
SOURCE OF
INFORMATION:
APPLICATION
WITHIN
MUNICIPALITIES:
PENALTIES:
To
be researched.
Michael Faden, Senior Legislative Attorney, 240-777-7905
Applies only to County Ethics Commission.
Not applicable
F:\LAw\BILLS\1037 Ethics Commission Restructuring\1037 Lrr.Doc