State Roundup: AG’s Office toughens legal strategy to defend B’more jail health system; Archdiocese considers bankruptcy; Moore admin must tackle looming structural deficit; faculty at two community colleges gets unions

State Roundup: AG’s Office toughens legal strategy to defend B’more jail health system; Archdiocese considers bankruptcy; Moore admin must tackle looming structural deficit; faculty at two community colleges gets unions file photo.

AG’s OFFICE TOUGHENS LEGAL MOVES TO DEFEND JAIL HEALTH SYSTEM: The Maryland Office of the Attorney General has ratcheted up a more defiant legal strategy in its defense of a still-dysfunctional Baltimore jail health care system, hiring an outside law firm and targeting the medical monitor who has been gauging the state’s compliance, or lack thereof, with the terms of its settlement. Ben Conarck/The Baltimore Banner.

B’MORE ARCHDIOCESE CONSIDERS BANKRUPTCY IN FACE OF LAWSUITS: The Baltimore Archdiocese is considering filing for bankruptcy as it anticipates a potential flood of lawsuits starting Oct. 1, when a new Maryland law will lift the statute of limitations on claims from those who say they were sexually abused as children, according to internal emails among church officials and a communications specialist. Jean Marbella and Jonathan M. Pitts/The Baltimore Sun.

MOORE, CABINET TUSSLE WITH PROJECTED STRUCTURAL DEFICIT: Gov. Wes Moore and members of his Cabinet have shied from specifying how spending may change as the state approaches a projected structural deficit after years of surplus. Cabinet members have said that “discipline” and “focus” will guide the administration’s decisions as it seeks to expand the state’s tax base and reckon with years of lackluster economic growth. Jack Hogan/The Daily Record.

COMMUNITY COLLEGES’ FACULTY UNIONS CERTIFIED: Two new public employee unions had extra cause to celebrate this Labor Day weekend. New faculty unions at Howard Community College and Frederick Community College were certified and recognized last week under a state law governing unionization on community college campuses. Danielle Gaines/Maryland Matters.

JURY AWARDS EX-HOWARD WORKER $960,000 IN HARASSMENT SUIT: A jury awarded a former Howard County public works employee more than $960,000 in compensatory damages in a lawsuit claiming racial harassment by white coworkers. The jury found that Darrell Fletcher, 54, was discriminated against after they heard he was called a “boy” and racial slurs using the n-word. They also heard about Fletcher’s claims that his former white coworkers refused to work and train with him, or be trained by him when he later received a promotion. William Ford/Maryland Matters.

SOMERSET’s ONLY HOMELESS SHELTER CLOSES AFTER IMPROPER SPENDING: The only homeless shelter in rural Somerset County on Maryland’s Eastern Shore closed with little warning over the summer after an audit identified improper spending, including covid relief dollars spent on an employee’s Jeep Compass — leaving the state’s poorest county without a shelter as homelessness spikes. Katie Shepherd/The Washington Post.

COVID FUNDS FRAUD HITS $40 MILLION IN MARYLAND: The crackdown on misappropriation of Covid-19 relief funds has uncovered at least $40 million in federal relief fraud in Maryland and has charged more than 20 defendants, exposing schemes to use the money for luxury goods, expensive vacations, guns and drugs, U.S. Attorney’s Office for Maryland reported. Nationally, the crackdown has resulted in criminal charges filed against 371 defendants for offenses related to over $836 million in alleged Covid fraud. Fern Shen/Baltimore Brew.

HOGAN STILL CONSIDERING RUN FOR PRESIDENT IF … Former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan hasn’t completely ruled out running for president with an independent party if former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden are front-runners as Republican and Democratic nominees early next year, he said on CBS News on Sunday. Tony Roberts/The Baltimore Sun.

4 METRO STATIONS REOPEN AFTER UPGRADES: Four Maryland Metro stations that have been closed since late July for track upgrades and installation of fiber optic cables reopened this weekend ahead of schedule, Metro said. Their openings signaled the end of Metro’s summer of work at various stations in the system. Justin George/The Washington Post.

NEW CHIEF PERFORMANCE OFFICER; PRO-ANIMAL LEGISLATIVE GRADES: Maryland has a new chief performance officer. A majority of state lawmakers received a passing grade, based on their votes for pro-animal rights legislation, in the Humane Society Legislative Fund’s 2023 scorecard. Attorney General Anthony Brown (D) joined almost two dozen other attorneys general in supporting the federal government to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour for certain federal contractors. William Ford and Bryan Sears/Maryland Matters.

EX-HOGAN DEPUTY SECTY ARRESTED IN STING OPERATION: A former deputy secretary of state for Gov. Larry Hogan was arrested Wednesday following a sting operation in which Fort Meade criminal investigators posed as a teenage girl skipping school to meet him, according to court records. Luke Parker/The Capital Gazette.

FEDERAL FUNDS TARGET FREDERICK STUDENTS LACKING INTERNET: Frederick County’s schools and libraries will receive federal money to benefit students who lack internet connectivity at home. The grant comes as part of the federal Emergency Connectivity Fund, which was created through the American Rescue Plan. Jillian Atelsek/The Frederick News Post.

TOXIC ENVIRONMENT CITED AT BA CO FIRE DEPT: When she became Baltimore County fire chief in July 2019, Joanne Rund said her priority would be enhancing safety protections for firefighters and upgrading aging fire stations. She was applauded for bringing new perspective as the department’s first permanently appointed female leader. But four years later, firefighters say a “toxic environment” created by department leaders has led to poor morale, a shortage of staff and inconsistency in how discipline is meted out. Lia Russell/The Baltimore Sun.

WICOMICO NAACP SEEKS FORMAL APOLOGY FOR HISTORY OF LYNCHING: The Wicomico County chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is seeking a formal apology by the city of Salisbury for the lynching deaths between 1898 and 1931 of Garfield King, Matthew Williams and an unidentified middle-aged male. Kristian Jaime/The Salisbury Daily Times.

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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