Common Cause Maryland Calls for Baltimore County Council to Secure the Independence of the Inspector General
The Baltimore County Council will hold a work session today, December 12, at 4 PM to discuss potential amendments to Bills 83-23 and 83-24 that attempt to weaken the powers of the Office of the Inspector General (OIG).
Joanne Antoine, executive director of Common Cause Maryland, issued the following statement ahead of today’s session:
“The lack of transparency and resistance to creating greater accountability within the Baltimore County government continues to be gravely concerning. Instead of working to pass the recommendations made by the Blue Ribbon Commission for Ethics and Accountability, the Council Chair has instead chosen to display insistent opposition to efforts aimed at reducing fraud, waste, and abuse in the County.
“I speak on behalf of Common Cause Maryland, not the Commission, when I say that the disregard for the time and efforts put into developing these recommendations is a slap in the face. These amendments are disrespectful, not only to myself and others who served on the Commission but to the taxpayers who invested in our work.
“Over the last few days, Common Cause Maryland has received calls and emails from our members and County residents expressing serious concerns about the amendments and the lack of transparency throughout the legislative process Many of the folks I’ve talked to pointed to nearly identical efforts in 2021 to limit the powers of the OIG. We’ve encouraged these residents to email their representatives and to make their voices heard at the work session today.
“The last-minute weakening amendments being proposed by Council Chair Jones not only undermine the purpose of the office, but shield the bad actors seeking to use county resources for their own interests. Common Cause Maryland urges Council Chair Jones to revoke his amendments.
“If he refuses, we urge the County Council to reject the amendments put before them and support the effort to create a truly independent OIG with the resources it needs to be effective.”
Common Cause Maryland encourages members of the public to make their voices heard during this process. Anyone wishing to testify shall register in advance using the Speaker Registration Form. Speaker registration will close at 3 PM.
The Work Session is public and can be observed in-person in the County Council Chambers or online here (Webinar Password – PexQP28atM4) or by phone at +1-415-655-0001 US Toll
Event number (access code): 2302 150 4620
Webinar Password: 73977282