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Posted on: January 30, 2017

New requested legislation focuses on stronger oversight, accountability and local control

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III Requests Liquor Board Reform Bill to State Legislature

Upper Marlboro, MD – Today Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III announced that he has requested new state legislation that will dramatically strengthen the oversight of the Prince George’s County Board of License Commissioners, also known as the Liquor Board, by shifting control from the state to the county. The new legislation would move the appointment of members of the Board of License Commissioners by the Governor to appointment by the County Executive, resulting in stronger oversight and increased local control of the Board and its inspectors. Summary of requested legislation attached to this release.

“The selection and oversight of the Board of Licensee Commissioners needs to be reformed,” said County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III. “The legislation we are proposing creates much stronger oversight and accountability by shifting the appointment responsibility to the County. By providing local control and accountability over this Board, our residents and businesses can be better assured that any corruption, malfeasance, or unethical behaviors will be quickly detected, investigated, and corrected.”

The County Executive’s Liquor Board Reform Legislation alters the current appointment process so that the County Executive shall appoint the Board members, who must be also confirmed by the County Council. In addition, the County Executive would appoint the Director of the Board, who would also be confirmed by the County Council. These changes to the current process are designed to reduce the possibility of political influence through public committee sessions and public hearings for the board members and the director-nominee.

The other significant change is the conversion of the inspectors from Board appointees to County employees. By requiring a competitive hiring process, it will drastically reduce the political influence in the selection of the Chief Liquor Inspector, 2 Deputy Chief Inspectors, and the 24 part-time liquor Inspectors. The County Executive’s proposed Liquor Board Reform Legislation was created using elements from other Maryland jurisdictions.

Of the pending legislative proposals County Executive Baker said: “I know that the problem of combating the troubling issue of corruption is something that concerns all of my fellow colleagues in the Prince George’s House and Senate delegations and some have taken alternative approaches to tackling the problem. I strongly believe the approach I put forth will be most effective in ending the scourge of corruption in our County because it adds a key component of accountability and professionalism to the process. Nevertheless, I pledge to work with all my colleagues on these proposals during the next several weeks of the legislative session.”

Prince George’s County Board of Liquor Commissioners Accountability and Reform Act—Management and Governance Major Changes


           

Current Law

Proposed

Board of License Commissioners

5 members

5 members

Appointing Authority

Governor with advice and consent of the Senate if in Session

Names provided by the respective political party’s central committee (e.g. “Senators”)

County Executive subject to confirmation by the County Council

Board Member Qualifications

Resident and Voter, High Character and Integrity, and Recognized Business Capacity

Current Law plus public safety/law enforcement experience, legal experience, or regulatory experience

Board Chair

Appointed by the Governor

Appointed by the County Executive subject to confirmation by the County Council

Administrator/Director

Administrator appointed by the Board

**Has not been appointed in years

Director appointed by the County Executive subject to confirmation by the County Council

**Director manages the operations

Inspectors

3 Full-Time (Chief and 2 Deputies)
24 Part-Time Inspectors

**Chief Inspector manages the operations

3 Full-Time (Chief and 2 Deputies)
Up to 24 Part-Time Inspectors

**Chief and deputies report to Director

Appointing Authority for Inspectors

Board (e.g. “Senators”)

Director in accordance with County personnel law (e.g. Competitive process)

Appoint Authority for the Board Attorney

Board (e.g. Senators)

Director (e.g. County Executive)


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