Was Md.’s Corrections Secretary Actually the Hero in Baltimore’s Insane Prison Scandal?

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Resigning Maryland Corrections Secretary Gary D. Maynard
Retiring Maryland Corrections Secretary Gary D. Maynard

When it came to light that the Baltimore City Detention Center was the site of a scandal worthy of being adapted into a blockbuster crime thriller — featuring corrupt corrections officers aiding incarcerated gang leaders, and even sleeping with them — Maryland Corrections Secretary Gary D. Maynard was on the shortlist of people to blame.

But in a very persuasive opinion piece at Maryland Reporter, Barry Rascovar argues not only that Maynard is not to blame for the corruption that pervaded the Baltimore jail, but that he should be given full credit for putting it to rout — and that in fact the unfortunate political position he now finds himself in is a testament to his honesty, dedication, and class.

As Rascovar would have it, when Maynard’s department first uncovered evidence of corruption among BCDC staff, he could have taken a politically convenient approach: made a few arrests and held a self-congratulatory press conference. Instead, he invited the FBI to aid in a deeper investigation aimed at fixing the system once and for all. Rascovar credits “grandstanding” from the FBI (specifically a “flashy press conference” that downplayed Maryland’s role in initiating the probe) with making Maynard look like he was sitting on his hands, or worse, oblivious to the criminal activity.

If this view is accepted, then Maynard’s immediate and unqualified ownership of all responsibility — “It’s totally on me. I don’t make any excuses,” he said when the story first broke — is leadership with an almost saint-like disregard for legacy.

Read Rascovar’s entire article at Maryland Reporter.

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