Make Police Accountable: Repeal LEOBR

By Peta Richkus. In early August, attorney Deborah Katz Levi, Director of Special Litigation, Baltimore City Felony Trial Division, Maryland Office of the Public Defender (OPD), joined approximately 100 Marylanders who spoke before the Police Reform and Accountability in Maryland Workgroup chaired by Delegate Vanessa E. Atterbeary, House Judiciary Committee Vice Chair. In 2016, the (old Baltimore) City Paper gave its “best lawyer” award to … Continue reading Make Police Accountable: Repeal LEOBR

Public Defender Urges Police Reform

By Peta Richkus. In June 2020, Maryland House Speaker Adrienne Jones, with Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, Luke Clippinger, convened the Work Group to Address Police Reform and Accountability in Maryland. “Policing in America is broken. While we have taken a number of positive steps in Maryland, we can’t be satisfied until every citizen has confidence in their police department…. We need structural reform … Continue reading Public Defender Urges Police Reform

Baltimore County Can’t Wait for State on Police Reform

By Elizabeth Brown. This morning, August 28, 2020, Councilman Julian E. Jones, Jr. held a press conference to announce the introduction of seven distinct bills covering important aspects of police reform. After the Baltimore County Council unceremoniously tabled Jones’s earlier police reform bill, Bill 73-20, at the August 3, 2020 session, I was glad to hear that Councilman Julian E. Jones, Jr. would try again … Continue reading Baltimore County Can’t Wait for State on Police Reform

Real Police Reform Needed Now

By Peta Richkus. You might think, with a single law that applies to all 142 law enforcement agencies in Maryland (LEOBR: the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights), there would be uniformity in policing. You would be wrong. The only thing that is uniform is the lack of oversight and accountability. Because of LEOBR, those police officers who do violate their oath to “protect and … Continue reading Real Police Reform Needed Now

Hogan Wrong About Conducting November Election

By Peta Richkus. After the recommendation of the bi-partisan Board of Elections, as well as that of the Maryland Association of Election Officials, I really expected Gov. Hogan to go with the suggested hybrid election, which seemed to address all concerns: public health, capacity, security, efficiency. But no. Hogan is choosing instead to increase the dollar cost and the confusion, and to encourage more people … Continue reading Hogan Wrong About Conducting November Election

Hogan’s Good Grades Don’t Include Education

By Peta Richkus. Governor Hogan has provided some notable leadership during this coronavirus crisis. But the failures of his agencies, including the MD State Department of Education (MSDE), are also Larry Hogan’s responsibility. State Superintendent of Schools Karen B. Salmon, who had announced in December 2019 her plans to step down in June, seems to be in over her head. Never mind that tens of thousands … Continue reading Hogan’s Good Grades Don’t Include Education

State Retirees’ Rx Drug Benefit Redux

By Peta Richkus. Older retirees from State service remain in a hellacious limbo about their futures. Thanks only to a federal court injunction, and the handful of employees and their attorney who filed for it (Thank you, Ken Fitch, Deborah Heim, Mary Frye, and Deborah Holloway Hill, Esq.), Medicare-eligible State retirees continue to receive their prescription drug benefit. But for how long? Unfortunately, many legislators, … Continue reading State Retirees’ Rx Drug Benefit Redux

Time is of the Essence for Retirement-Eligible State Employees

By Peta Richkus. Subsequent to publication of Ms. Richkus’  Commentary in Maryland Matters and The Daily Record, the MD State Retirement Agency (SRA) removed all reference to SB 946 from its web page (a Search for “SB 946” currently yields no results). The Department of Budget & Management (DBM) link to expanded SB 946 information can be found at the top of the DBM Home page. … Continue reading Time is of the Essence for Retirement-Eligible State Employees

Chairman Quirk is Missing the Point about Sage Policy Group

By Peta Richkus. This article is a response to the August 7, 2019 Letter to the Editor written by Tom Quirk, Chair of the Baltimore County Council. Since my testimony before the Baltimore County Council during their June 25, 2019 Work Session prompted Council deliberation about the proposed Sage Policy Group contract referred to by Council Chairman Quirk (“Some Baltimore County Council members are questioning … Continue reading Chairman Quirk is Missing the Point about Sage Policy Group

Time for a New Baltimore County Economic Analyst?

By Peta Richkus. Editor’s note: We are pleased to publish testimony presented by Ms. Richkus to the Baltimore County Council during their June 25, 2019 Work Session concerning the proposed contract award: Agenda Item FM-17, Economic Consultant to the County Council. The proposed award would be a Sole Source contract to Sage Policy Group, Anirban Basu, Chairman and CEO. The contract award will be voted … Continue reading Time for a New Baltimore County Economic Analyst?