Earlier today, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamentez announced legislation to change the county’s ethics laws, which is slated to be formally introduced to the County Council on November 7. Executive Kamenetz states:
“It is imperative that the people of Baltimore County have confidence in the ethical conduct of their public officials and employees,” said Kamenetz. “The changes that I am submitting to the Council strengthen Baltimore County’s current policies, and the Executive Order that I am issuing will immediately establish a clear code of conduct and ethical standards for all County workers.”
Amongst the changes that Kamenetz is proposing are:
- Extends the prohibition of participation in a County matter when the employee’s spouse or child has an interest in the outcome to also include the employee’s parent or sibling.
- Prohibits County employees from representing any party for compensation (except in certain judicial and quasi-judicial proceedings) in a matter before, or involving, the county or the state.
- Prohibits former County employees from ever representing or assisting a person for compensation in a matter in which he or she significantly participated as a County employee.
- Clarifies voting and disclosure rules for members of the county council when they may have a conflict of interest. Council members are presumed to have a disqualifying interest if they have a direct interest that would benefit from the vote, or from a close economic association with someone who will benefit from the legislation, or from a close economic association with a lobbyist lobbying the bill, or have a loan from someone who will benefit from the bill.