Right now, Councilman Marks says, there is no unit within Baltimore County government with broad powers to investigate such abuses. The County Auditor, who works for the County Council, functions as a legislative research office and can only make requests for information from the Board of Education and the executive branch of government. There is also no easily-identified hotline for constituents or employees to report issues.
Councilman Marks noted that the charter review process provides an opportunity to address this timely topic.
In 2016, Baltimore County voters endorsed – by more than 80 percent – a process every ten years to review the charter, which forms the constitutional framework for county government. The Baltimore County Council is currently reviewing the recommendations of the charter review commission. A proposal to create a Baltimore County Inspector General could be placed on the November ballot. Councilman Marks sponsored the legislation that led to the charter review process.
“When I worked in the federal government, I saw firsthand the importance of having an Inspector General in each department,” said Councilman Marks. “I want the County Council to look at doing this locally. There is broad support, I believe, for an Inspector General who can receive anonymous complaints from constituents and investigate fraud and abuse.”