Marilyn Mosby’s predecessor in the State’s Attorney’s Office of Baltimore City has been tapped to assist with an ethics review of a Baltimore County delegate’s involvement in a medical marijuana business, according to media outlets.
The Daily Record’s Maryland government reporter, Bryan Sears, reports Gregg Bernstein, formerly the City of Baltimore’s top prosecutor and now a partner at the law firm Zuckerman Spaeder, was seen being ushered into a House of Delegates building in Annapolis yesterday. Sources told him Bernstein was hired as outside counsel to assist lawmakers in an ethics review of Del. Dan Morhaim’s admitted involvement in a medical marijuana business.
Stacy Goodman, a co-counsel for the Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics, which is investigating Morhaim, said in an email that the committee has no comment.
Last year, Morhaim, a licensed physician who practices in Baltimore County, was outed as the clinical director of Doctor’s Orders, LLC, one of the companies that has received preliminary licensing approval to both grow and dispense marijuana. The business is based in Montgomery County, according to a Bloomberg company listing.
Morhaim’s involvement wouldn’t be as questionable were he not an elected official who co-sponsored the bill that created the state’s much-delayed medical marijuana program. Despite the launch of an ethics review, he has maintained he followed the rules while fulfilling his duties as both a lawmaker and the clinical director of the medical pot firm.
Last month, state Senate President Mike Miller let it slip that the state’s Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics had hired an outside lawyer to assist in their ongoing ethics probe, according to The Washington Post.
Bernstein hasn’t returned a message requesting confirmation about his reported involvement with the probe. Other members of the committee declined to comment to WBAL about the investigation, citing its confidential nature.
In January, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan unveiled a series of ethics reform proposals aimed at reducing corruption across the state. One of his proposals, the “Public Integrity Act,” would bar lawmakers from proposing legislation that benefits their own businesses and prohibit staffers from lobbying for a year after leaving government posts. Morhaim’s attorney told the Post Miller’s comments about the investigation of Morhaim were made in reaction to Hogan’s announcement.
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