State Roundup: Foxwell out as Franchot’s top aide

State Roundup: Foxwell out as Franchot’s top aide

Len Foxwell, far left, shares a craft beer with Comptroller Peter Franchot at a Feb. 28, 2018 fundraiser for Photo by Glynis Kazanjian

FOXWELL OUT AT COMPTROLLER’s OFFICE: State Comptroller Peter Franchot announced Monday that Len Foxwell no longer works as his chief of staff, Pamela Wood of the Sun reports. The Democrat issued a statement on Foxwell’s departure without giving a reason for it. He said Foxwell’s last day at the agency will be at the end of October.

  • Foxwell is sometimes credited with the political rebirth of Franchot and as the architect of his transformation from a self-proclaimed Takoma Park liberal to a populist tax collector who preached fiscal discipline and frequently sides with two-term Republican Gov. Larry Hogan. Bryan Sears reports in a detailed rundown of his 12 years with Franchot.
  • In recent years, Foxwell has become a warrior on Facebook against Franchot’s enemies, real and perceived, picking fights with Democratic leaders  including high-ranking elected officials with whom Franchot has regularly feuded. In April, Foxwell was blasted by Republicans for provocative Facebook posts about far-right supporters of President Trump, Josh Kurtz writes for Maryland Matters.

SEN. CARTER CALLS TRUMP BEHAVIOR RECKLESS: Sen. Jill Carter (D-Baltimore City) said Monday that President Donald Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis is the direct result of reckless behavior such as not wearing a mask and disregarding other recommended safety guidelines. “He has been a poor role model for the country in not wearing a mask, holding mask-less rallies, and spreading the virus to staff,” Carter told Bryan Renbaum of MarylandReporter.

TRUMP SUPPORTERS CHEER AS HE LEAVES HOSPITAL: Hundreds of supporters of President Donald Trump, and a few opponents, lined Rockville Pike Monday evening to watch the president return to the White House in the Marine One helicopter, Dan Schere of Bethesda Beat reports.

HISTORY OF INDY STATE AGENCIES GIVING LARGE PAYOUTS: State lawmakers expressed surprise and outrage when they learned in August that Roy McGrath, head of the Maryland Environmental Service, left his job with a six-figure payout that included a year’s salary. But, reports Alison Knezevich for the Sun, it wasn’t the first time an independent state agency has come under fire for its payments to executives.

VOTE COUNTING UNDER WAY: Vote counting for the November election got under way Monday in Baltimore City and Anne Arundel County, the start in Central Maryland of what could be a lengthy process thanks to more than a million mail-in ballots expected to be cast across the state, Emily Opilo of the Sun reports.

Optimal Solar Siting for Maryland: Maryland is making moves to meet its renewable portfolio standard (RPS) mandate, but land-use priorities and regulations create challenges about where best to site new solar energy projects. What are the optimal solutions? How can the state incentivize development of distributed generation in desirable locations and ensure that projects in those locations have a smooth path to permits? Panelists will discuss these questions and more during this FREE webinar on October 8th.

MORE ON STRONG FUTURE MARYLAND: A former U.S. education secretary and potential candidate for governor of Maryland in 2022 announced a new political group in the state Monday that includes other alumni of former President Barack Obama’s administration, Brian Witte of the AP reports. John King Jr., who served as Obama’s education secretary in the last year of his presidency, said Strong Future Maryland will focus on helping Maryland recover from the coronavirus pandemic and battling systemic racism.

  • His mission is to harness anti-racism solidarity into an organized movement that can push the Maryland General Assembly in a deeply Democratic state into approving wholesale changes to institutions, writes Erin Cox in the Post. Among them: more money for schools in poorer neighborhoods and historically Black colleges, an economic recovery that focuses on building a more fair economy and aggressive policies to address climate change.

KENDERDINE  TO RETIRE FROM STATE RETIREMENT SYSTEM: R. Dean Kenderdine, the executive director of the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System, is retiring in 2021 after 14 years leading the agency. A former chief of staff for then-Comptroller William Donald Schaefer, he led the Maryland pension system through the Great Recession, Holden Wilen reports for the Baltimore Business Journal.

ARIZONA LAWMAKER TREATED FOR COVID AT HOPKINS: An Arizona lawmaker has been intubated and admitted to the intensive care unit at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore for treatment of the coronavirus, the AP is reporting.

PG TASK FORCE SEEKS PANDEMIC ROADMAP: A Prince George’s County task force made up of a former Maryland governor, college presidents, government and health officials and others released a report Monday in efforts to provide better services once the coronavirus pandemic ends, William Ford reports for the Washington Informer.

  • County Executive Angela Alsobrooks created the task force in May, calling on the group to develop solutions for the county to handle the ongoing pandemic and develop recommendations for how it will emerge and handle similar events in the future, Bryan Sears writes in the Daily Record.

ARUNDEL COUNCIL EXEMPTS WINERIES, BREWERIES FROM TAX: The Anne Arundel County Council passed a bill Monday night exempting farm wineries, breweries and other alcohol production facilities from paying admission and amusement taxes and changing other finance and taxation regulations, Olivia Sanchez of the Capital Gazette reports.

PARENTS, ATHLETES CALL FOR RETURN OF SCHOOL SPORTS: A mix of 300 high school parents, players and coaches crowded Earleigh Heights Volunteer Fire Company station in Severna Park Monday night to call for the return of high school sports, one night before the Anne Arundel school board discusses options for resuming competition, Katherine Fominykh writes in the Capital Gazette.

CHANGE IN STORE FOR BA CO POLICE DEPT: Changes are coming to the Baltimore County Police Department. After months of debate, the county council approved police reform legislation Monday night, John Lee reports for WYPR-FM.

B’MORE COUNCIL OKS ‘INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ DAY:’ The Baltimore City Council pushed to accelerate the passage of a bill that would rename Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples’ Day, with lawmakers hoping it takes effect in time for next week’s holiday, Talia Richman of the Sun reports.

About The Author

Cynthia Prairie

Contributing Editor Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor since 1979, when she began working at The Raleigh Times. Since then, she has worked for The Baltimore News American, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Prince George’s Journal and Baltimore County newspapers in the Patuxent Publishing chain, including overseeing The Jeffersonian when it was a two-day a week business publication. Cynthia has won numerous state awards, including the Maryland State Bar Association’s Gavel Award. Besides compiling and editing the daily State Roundup, she runs her own online newspaper, The Chester Telegraph. If you have additional questions or comments contact Cynthia at:

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