Maryland Gets Low Marks for Corruption Prevention
0Written by: Citybizlist | Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012 10:30am
In the midst of a session that has seen ethics and transparency pushed into the
spotlight, two reports released this week gave the state poor rankings on both
A nationwide report conducted by the State Integrity Investigation ranked
Maryland 40th out of 50 states for corruption prevention, awarding the
state a D- on their report card. Half the states scored D or less.
In their explanation, the nonpartisan organization notes the state’s history
of political corruption dating back to Democratic Gov. Marvin Mandel’s
imprisonment for racketeering and mail fraud – a conviction later overturned
to Republican Vice President Spiro Agnew’s prosecution for bribery and tax
fraud during his service as governor.
The report card is broken down into various categories, including public
access to information, internal auditing, and ethics enforcement. The
investigation blames the state’s poor ranking on limited accountability of the
executive and legislative branches due to unchecked Democratic control, a
revolving door between lobbyists and government officials, failure to correct
audit findings, and limited data access across the board.
The project was a joint effort by the Center for Public Integrity, Global
Integrity, and Public Radio International.
By Douglas M. Schmidt | May 24, 2012
For the past three years, Maryland has experienced an unprecedented
crime wave of political corruption. The only comparable period in memory
would be the 1970s, when a governor was jailed and a sitting U.S. vice
president (who had served as governor and Baltimore County executive)
resigned in shame. The current offenders have been high-ranking elected
officials, and the offenses have been far more serious than simple lapses in
judgment. They have involved a level of hubris and ethical depravity that are
shocking by any standard.