TOWSON, MD—Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski on Tuesday announced the formation of an independent Blue Ribbon Commission on Ethics and Accountability, which will perform a comprehensive review and evaluation of Baltimore County’s current laws and policies governing public ethics, open government, and the Office of Inspector General.
“Over the last three years, we’ve made Baltimore County’s government more open, accessible, and transparent than ever before. We also believe we should continue working to create a government that upholds the highest standards of ethics and accountability,” Olszewski said. “I’d like to thank Judge Murphy and all the members of this independent commission for their service as they work to ensure our laws reflect national best practices and identify innovative opportunities to further strengthen our County for years to come.”
The Baltimore County Commission on Ethics and Accountability will study Baltimore County’s existing ethics laws and laws concerning the Office of Inspector General, and provide recommendations to ensure existing policies align with national best practices and identify any additional policies, functions, or innovative practices to strengthen existing law.
The Baltimore County Commission on Ethics and Accountability will be chaired by Retired Judge Joseph Murphy who previously served on the Court of Appeals—Maryland’s highest court —as well as the Chief Judge of the Maryland Court of Special Appeals.
The Commission will be comprised of a diverse group of individuals who operate outside of County government and the Baltimore County Council, including:
- Judge Joseph Murphy, Chair
- Joanne Antoine, Executive Director, Common Cause Maryland
- Brigadier General Janeen L. Birckhead, Assistant Adjutant General of the Maryland Army National Guard
- Judge Kathleen Cox, Former Baltimore County Circuit Court Administrative Judge
- William E. Johnson, Jr., Former Inspector General for the Maryland Department of Human Resources
- Jon Laria, Esq., Managing Partner of Ballard Spahr
- Cindy Leppert, Esq., Chair of Baltimore County’s Ethics Commission
All Commission meetings will be open to the public.
To ensure the new Commission can complete its work independently, in the coming weeks, Baltimore County will issue a request for proposals (RFP) for an outside vendor to provide administrative and technical support for the Commission.
The Commission will develop an interim report with its recommendations to the County Executive and the County Council by July 1, 2022, and will issue a final report by November 1, 2022.