Anne Arundel Aspires for Accessible Accountability

An Anne Arundel County news release (2018-09-17) announced that County Executive Steve Schuh is proposing a series of ethics reforms for the County. The reforms would address ethics training, gift restrictions, penalties for lobbying violations, and the law’s applicability to County board and commission members.

From the news release:

Our citizens deserve a fair, honest, and transparent government. These reforms will ensure that we instill the highest ethical standards across Anne Arundel County.

– Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh

The ethics reform proposal includes provisions:

  • Requiring mandatory ethics training for all County employees and elected officials, every five years.
  • Implementing stricter gift restriction on meals and beverages.
  • Increasing the penalties on lobbyists who violate the Ethics Code

I applaud the Administration’s focus on public ethics, and the proposed changes will ensure Anne Arundel County’s Public Ethics Law remains one of the most comprehensive in the state.

– Anne Arundel County Ethics Commission Executive Director Michael Botsaris

The news release also stated that the reforms would be implemented by the Commission.

Capital Gazette editorial (2018-09-19) expressed support for the ethics proposal but also urged the reforms include a ban on “anyone accepting a county-funded paycheck from acting as a lobbyist before county or state government agencies or legislative bodies” (unless specifically lobbying on behalf of their county agency).