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Political Ethics Special Report Home

Political Ethics: The Law, Ethics for elected officials and lobbyists

Legislators

State Delegate Tony E. Fulton

DEL. TONY E. FULTON, D-Baltimore
Fulton escaped conviction on 11 charges of federal mail and wire fraud. Prosecutors had alleged that Fulton made empty claims that he was going to push for anti-lead paint legislation so that lobbyist Gerard Evans could collect money from his lead paint company clients to lobby against it. Fulton also allegedly received a $10,000 payment from Evans' firm, which prosecutors argued was a payoff. But with little evidence to consider, the jury acquitted Fulton on some of the charges and deadlocked on the others. After prosecutors declined a retrial, the Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics decided not to investigate. Fulton remains in office.

 
Former State Delegate Gerald J. Curran

DEL. GERALD J. CURRAN, D-Baltimore
Curran resigned from the Legislature Feb. 27, 1998, in the middle of an investigation by the ethics committee prompted by a story published in The (Baltimore) Sun. The Sun alleged that Curran acted as a broker in a number of insurance deals with state agencies. Among these was a deal that entitled Curran to collect commissions on insurance policies with employees of one of Maryland's largest credit unions. As chairman of the Commerce and Government Matters Committee, Curran oversaw legislation dealing with credit unions and ethics. The investigation stopped when he resigned, because the committee only has jurisdiction over sitting members.

 
Former State Sen. Larry Young

SEN. LARRY YOUNG, D-Baltimore
The Senate expelled Young on Jan. 16, 1998, for using his position to profit his private business. Young, who sat as chairman of the Health subcommittee of the Senate Finance Committee, was also president of a private, for-profit health consulting firm called the LY Group. The ethics committee found that Young used his position and influence to leverage tens of thousands of dollars into the LY Group. In addition, the committee found that Young solicited and accepted a number of gifts in violation of the ethics law, including a $24,800 1995 blue Lincoln Town Car. He was later acquitted of criminal bribery charges.
Full CNS story


Lobbyists

GERARD EVANS
On July 14, 2000, Evans, one of the state's top-earning lobbyists, was convicted of nine counts of federal mail and wire fraud for cheating clients. According to prosecutors, he warned his clients that anti-lead paint legislation was in the works, even though it wasn't. Evans then accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars from his lead-paint company clients to lobby against the supposed legislation. Evans received 30 months in prison and a $50,000 fine. He was also ordered to repay $139,000 to the paint companies.

 

BRUCE BEREANO
Bereano was convicted on Nov. 30, 1994, on federal mail fraud charges. The jury found that he had billed clients for entertaining legislators when what he really did with the money was make illegal campaign contributions to political candidates. He was sentenced to five months in a halfway house, five months of home detention and three years of probation. He was ordered to perform 500 hours of community service and was fined $20,000. Bereano was able to keep his Maryland law license and continue lobbying while serving his sentence. He has since resumed his spot as one of the top-paid Maryland lobbyists.

Copyright 2001 University of Maryland College of Journalism

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