On Friday, as yet another Maryland politician was indicted on charges stemming from alleged unethical behavior, lawmakers voted unanimously to strengthen the state’s ethics laws with new restrictions and requirements for officials and their staffers.
As Maryland legislators mull government ethics reform bills before the General Assembly session draws to a close, a new poll shows residents from around the state and in Baltimore specifically are concerned about corruption.
A General Assembly ethics panel has recommended Del. Dan Morhaim of Baltimore County receive an official reprimand for working for a planned pot business while also helping design the framework for the state’s medical marijuana program.
Former State’s Attorney Bernstein Reportedly Hired to Help with Del. Morhaim’s Medical Pot Ethics Probe
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.
State Del. Dan Morhaim has represented his district in Northwest Baltimore County for more than 20 years now, and has been known in recent years for helping the state craft the legal framework for its medical marijuana program.
If you saw Gravity, you have an idea of what a disaster in space might feel like to an astronaut: terrifying, alienating, and utterly overwhelming. But as NASA ponders the future of its space program, which will probably include high-risk missions and long-duration flights (like, oh, say, a trip to Mars!?), how can they determine when a risky mission is too dangerous? To help answer that tricky ethical question, they turned to an Institute of Medicine committee, chaired by Johns Hopkins bioethics professor Jeffrey Kahn.
Baltimore writer Elizabeth Hazen confesses (and reconsiders) an ancient crime.
Some mornings my son, nearly six and a half years old, wakes up raging over the injustices of the world: Why does he have to eat green vegetables? Why does everything he wants cost “too much money”? Why doesn’t his dad live with us? Why, as he once phrased it from his booster in the backseat of our car, is life so hard? Devastated that I had failed already to guard him from this truth, I had little comfort to offer. Finding my own life a series of difficult navigations and compromises that leave all parties feeling deprived, I have struggled throughout my adult life to reconcile the lessons I learned as a child – all dreams are achievable, hard work always pays off, people get what they deserve – with the reality of my experience. The science of these teachings, quite simply, doesn’t play out. So what, then, do I tell my son? That intentions don’t matter? That the universe is random and our place in it negligible? That it is virtually impossible to predict what will happen, and even harder to know what will make us happy?
Baltimore’s ethics board examined the mayor’s use of free tickets to sold-out events at 1st Mariner Arena and other venues, and decided that the mayor’s office needs to establish explicit guidelines for the use of these tickets — which Mayor Rawlings-Blake has previously used to get her friends and family into sold-out Jay-Z and Rihanna concerts.
It’s great that Baltimore has a board to oversee the performance of the city’s ethics director, but it would be even better if it held meetings. The Board of Legislative Reference is made up of the mayor, city solicitor, a university president, a couple deans, director of the Enoch Pratt, and a member of City Council — except, there’s no one from City Council currently serving (until recently, most members didn’t even know what the Board of Legislative Reference was), and no one can remember the board holding a meeting since the ’90s.
Last week’s “semi-covert” ethics forum led by professors from the Hopkins School of Education for the benefit of Secret Service agents may have been planned long before the organization’s recent kerfluffle in Colombia, but that controversy added an extra tinge of urgency to the event. Hopkins has partnered with the Secret Service since 1997, and before the scandal broke, the school expected 20 agents to attend. One hundred showed up.
Although the conference’s focus wasn’t on the Cartagena controversy, the agency did ask that the Hopkins team “retool the event in its context.” That context meant addressing the fact that twelve agents have been accused of soliciting prostitutes when traveling to Colombia with President Obama for the Summit of the Americas. But Hopkins was quick to stress that the ethics forum was not remedial.