State Roundup, July 11, 2018

Print More

RECOUNT TO BEGIN: A recount will begin Thursday in the Democratic primary for Baltimore County executive, where former Del. Johnny Olszewski Jr. has been declared the winner by just nine votes, Pamela Wood of the Sun reports. State Sen. Jim Brochin, who finished second, submitted a petition Tuesday for a manual recount of the nearly 85,000 ballots cast in the election. His request came just hours after elections officials certified the results, and will push a final resolution of the primary well into next week.

OAKS SEEKS SLASHED JAIL TIME: After pleading guilty to federal corruption charges, former state Sen. Nathaniel T. Oaks is asking a judge for an 18-month prison sentence — far less than the eight to 10 years recommended by federal guidelines, Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs of the Sun reports.

FRANCHOT FOE TO FILE ETHICS COMPLAINT: Comptroller Peter Franchot’s little known Republican opponent, Anjali Reed Phukan, said she plans to file an ethics complaint this week against the three-term incumbent for passing out embossed medallions that bear the authority line of his campaign committee, Len Lazarick of MarylandReporter writes. Franchot has been passing out the coins to thousands of people for at least five years, reviving a tradition started by the late Comptroller Louie Goldstein.

HOYER OUT OF HOSPITAL: The AP is reporting that Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland has been released from a Washington hospital, where he was treated for pneumonia, says his spokesman. Spokeswoman Mariel Saez said Tuesday in an email that Hoyer, the No. 2 House Democrat, was released from George Washington University Hospital over the weekend. The 79-year-old was diagnosed with pneumococcal pneumonia and admitted to the hospital last week.

HAGERSTOWN MAYOR BLASTS LONDON COUNTERPART: C.J. Lovelace of the Hagerstown Herald-Mail reports that Hagerstown Mayor Bob Bruchey came under fire for social-media comments calling the Muslim mayor of London a “terrorist.” “I don’t blame (President Donald) Trump for not going in (January). Who would want to visit with this terrorist leading London,” Bruchey wrote in a comment posted Monday on Facebook.

MD FALLS IN BEST STATES FOR BIZ RANKING: Maryland fell six spots to No. 31 in CNBC’s annual list of America’s best states for business amid slow economic growth, the Baltimore Business Journal is reporting. The fall comes after Maryland moved up 11 spots combined the prior two years, including five spots last year. CNBC’s ranking takes into consideration 60 measures of competitiveness and then separates the metrics into 10 categories, weighted based on how frequently each is used as a selling point in state economic development marketing materials.

KAVANAUGH’s PREP SCHOOL: Bethany Rodgers of Bethesda Beat writes that Georgetown Preparatory School in North Bethesda might soon have two of its graduates sitting on the U.S. Supreme Court, with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh of the Class of 1983 to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy. Justice Neil Gorsuch, who joined the court last year, overlapped with Kavanaugh for two years at Georgetown Prep, graduating in 1985. Kavanaugh, who lives with his family in the Village of Chevy Chase, gave the school a shout-out in his speech Monday at the White House.

VERLETTA WHITE NAMED INTERIM SUPER: Despite weeks of fiery debate, there was little fanfare Tuesday night when the Baltimore County School Board named Verletta White as its interim superintendent, WBFF-TV’s Jeff Abell is reporting. By a vote of 9-2, the board approved a $273,000 contract for White along with an all expenses paid automobile and a $450 monthly technology allowance.

BEILENSON DROPS ED BOARD RACE: We haven’t been paying too much attention to school board races around the state because the other “up-ballot” races have been so jam-packed with candidates. But here’s an interesting tidbit from Libby Solomon of the Towson Times: Peter Beilenson, one of two candidates for the Towson area’s first elected seat in District 5 on the Baltimore County School Board, said Tuesday he is dropping out of the race. The candidate, a former Baltimore City and Howard County health commissioner, said he got a job offer in Sacramento, although he declined to give specifics of his new position. Beilenson said he was sad to leave the school board race behind, but “excited to return to California, where I’m from.” His departure will leave Julie Henn, who currently sits on the board, as the only District 5 candidate on the ballot in the November general election.