ANNAPOLIS — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan told reporters he’s “outraged” by behavior he’s seen among some lawmakers in Annapolis.
Asked about his reaction to the news of a second indictment against a former member of the Maryland House of Delegates, Hogan said, “It’s the kind of behavior that can’t be acceptable here.”
Hogan was referring to Wednesday’s indictment of former Delegate Michael Vaughn on charges of wire fraud, conspiracy and bribery and last month’s guilty plea by former Delegate Will Campos to charges of taking bribes, both in connection with the Prince George’s County Liquor Board. Campos’ case dated back to his time as a Prince George’s County Council member.
The governor has submitted two bills — one on ethics reform, another that would change the way members of liquor boards are appointed. Hogan said they’re part of his attempt to clean up a pay-to-play atmosphere.
“We need to root out this culture of corruption,” Hogan said, adding that he’s frustrated that his bills haven’t moved faster during this session. “How many more people have to be indicted, or accused of serious crimes or things that are unethical? We’re going to keep pressing.”
Those bills received hearings in House and Senate panels last month.
Hogan also referred to the case of Delegate Daniel Morhaim, who was reprimanded by a joint ethics committee in Annapolis for violating the spirit of state ethics laws. Hogan described Morhaim’s actions as “what I consider to be very unethical behavior.”
Morhaim was publicly reprimanded for what the committee said was his failure to disclose his work as a consultant for a medical marijuana company while at the same time working to shape legislation on the issue.
Morhaim contended he did nothing wrong, but issued a statement saying that while he didn’t technically break ethics rules, he understood that wasn’t good enough.