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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.”
Board of License Commissioners
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
Appointed by the Governor
Appointed by the County Executive subject to confirmation by the County Council
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
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)