Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more ➡
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Add note
Save to My Library
Sync to mobile
Look up keyword
Like this
3Activity
×
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Complaint about Rob Garagiola to the Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics

Complaint about Rob Garagiola to the Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics

Ratings: (0)|Views: 5,615|Likes:
Published by David Moon

More info:

Published by: David Moon on Mar 26, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See More
See less

03/26/2012

pdf

text

original

 
Complaint to the Maryland Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics
March 26, 2012Attention: Department of Legislative ServicesLegislative Services Building90 State Circle, Annapolis, MD 21401Filed by: Randa Fahmy Hudome, Esq.10401 Buckboard PlacePotomac, MD 20854(301) 765-8082VIA: Email and Registered MailDear Committee Members:Pursuant to Maryland State Code Section 15-515, I hereby file this complaint against theHonorable Rob Garagiola, State Senator for Maryland’s 15
th
District. As detailed below,Sen. Garagiola has violated provisions of the ethics laws governing the conduct of Members of the Maryland General Assembly. The citizens of Maryland deserve moretransparency and accountability from our elected officials and it is your fiduciaryresponsibility to uphold the trust of those citizens who elected you.
AFFIDAVIT
Description of Violations
Under Sections 15-601, 15-602, and 15-607 of the State Government Article, eachmember of the General Assembly is required to file a Financial Disclosure Statementwith the State Ethics Commission under oath with specified information on or beforeApril 30 of each year. Specifically, under §15-607(i), Members are required to disclosethe sources of their earned income. According to public information available to thecitizens of Maryland, Sen. Garagiola failed to do so for five years.Sen. Garagiola was elected in 2002. At the time, he was employed in the Washington,D.C. office of Greenberg Traurig, an international law firm whose office provides, amongits other services, “political, legislative, and regulatory counsel before Congress andfederal agencies.”
1
Sen. Garagiola was employed by Greenberg Traurig from 1999-2003.His duties at the firm included lobbying on behalf of the several different clients,including the Business Roundtable and various health industry groups.
2
On May 21, 2002 Sen. Garagiola filed the required financial disclosure forms for thereporting period between January 1 and December 31, 2001. Despite his employmentwith Greenberg Traurig during that period, Sen.
 
 Garagiola did not disclose his employment as a lobbyist with the firm. Under the question“I or a member of my immediate family received a salary or was sole or partial owner of a business entity from which earned income was received, during the reporting period,”Sen. Garagiola checked “No.”
3
On April 28, 2003, Sen. Garagiola filed his financial disclosure forms for the reporting period between January 1 and December 31, 2002. Despite receiving $119,000
4
incompensation from Greenberg Traurig during that time, Sen. Garagiola failed to disclosehis employment as a lobbyist with the firm. Under the question “I or a member of myimmediate family received a salary or was sole or partial owner of a business entity fromwhich earned income was received, during the reporting period,” Sen. Garagiola checked“No.”
5
On April 26, 2004, Sen. Garagiola filed his financial disclosure forms for the reporting period between January 1 and December 31, 2003. Despite receiving $78,000
6
incompensation from Greenberg Traurig during that time, Sen. Garagiola again failed todisclose his employment as a lobbyist with the firm. Under the question “I or a member of my immediate family received a salary or was sole or partial owner of a business entityfrom which earned income was received, during the reporting period,” Sen. Garagiolaagain checked “No.”
7
In addition to his employment as a lobbyist with Greenberg Traurig, Sen. Garagiola hasadmitted to failing to disclose his employment with law firm Stein Sperling Bennet DeJong Driscoll from 2003-2006.
8
 
Statement of Facts
Sen. Garagiola has not disputed that he failed to disclose his outside income from bothGreenberg Traurig and Stein Sperling until his 2007 disclosure form. Reporting thisactivity after the fact does not relieve his responsibilities from false reporting andtherefore requiring the appropriate ethics investigation. He has stated that the omission of his outside income was the result of his misunderstanding of the financial disclosureforms, and that is was an inadvertent mistake.
9
By signing and filing these notarized forms, Sen. Garagiola affirmed under the penaltiesof perjury that the contents of the financial disclosures were “complete, true, and correctto the best of my knowledge, information, and belief.”
10
 Not all Maryland officials agree that the forms were unclear or confusing. State Sen.Christopher Shank, R-Washington, has stated publicly that the forms were unambiguous:“To me it has been pretty straight forward. I’ve never owned a business, but I’ve alwaysinterpreted that you list your places of employment… If you have any questions about it,you err on the side of caution and ask somebody about it.”
11
 
If Sen. Garagiola had inquired with the Maryland State Ethics Commission on hisinterpretation of the form instructions, he would have been told that he was required tocomplete Schedule H and disclose his employment with Greenberg Traurig and SteinSperling. Michael Lord, the Commission’s Executive Director, recently stated that notdisclosing earned income would not have been the “advice we would give if asked.”
12
Furthermore, the Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics recently stated that findingfinancial disclosure forms difficult to understand does not excuse failing to properlydisclose outside earned income as required:While understanding that the Financial Disclosure Statement forms are complexand may be confusing, we reject Senator (Ulysses) Currie’s assertion that this is asufficient excuse for failing to disclose… a significant source of his personalincome for over five years. It is important to remember that all members of theGeneral Assembly and thousands of other officials and employees of the State arerequired to file these same types of disclosure forms to and meet all statutoryrequirements.
13
In that case discussed in that report, the Joint Committee unanimously recommendedcensure for Sen. Currie, who failed to disclose his consulting arrangement with a largegrocery store chain. Subsequently, the Maryland Senate appropriately voted to censurehim. Like Sen. Garagiola, Sen. Currie admitted that his financial disclosures containedomissions, and testified that he found the forms “confusing.”
14
Despite apparently sharing Sen. Currie’s confusion, Sen. Garagiola voted in favor of censuring Sen. Currie.
15
Yet he is not being subject to the same censure by your committees. We the citizens of Maryland deserve to know why the joint committee hasthus far chosen to ignore the almost identical facts in the case of Sen. Garagiola.
 
Conclusion
Maryland voters have the right to know about Sen. Garagiola’s work as a lobbyist and hisemployment with Greenberg Traurig and Stein Sperling. We were denied that right for five years. As the Joint Committee wrote less than a month ago, “The confidence andtrust of the citizens of Maryland is a precondition of effective government.”
16
In order torestore that vital confidence and trust, you must hold Sen. Garagiola to the same standardthe entire Senate held Sen. Currie.Accordingly, as a citizen of Maryland, I request the Joint Committee on LegislativeEthics to immediately take action and hold Sen. Garagiola responsible for his failure todisclose his employment. I request that he be required to file an amendment to hisfinancial disclosures to accurately reflect his work with Greenberg Traurig and SteinSperling. I also request that the Committee discipline him for his violation of the ethicslaws governing the conduct of Members of the Maryland General Assembly. Finally, thismatter must rise to a vote in the Maryland State Senate – much like the Sen. Curry matter - so that the citizens of Maryland can be aware of Senator Garagiola’s behavior and

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->