Capital News Article

Yeager, Amanda, ACLU challenges Leopold’s testimony on dossiers, Capital, March 22, 2016.

Snider Comment

I wonder how the reasoning in this trial would apply to the government employee who created a dossier on Zina Pierre, the 2009 Annapolis mayoral primary winner. Presumably, that dossier was “good” partly because it was successful in finding dirt that the Capital and other opinion leaders had failed to find prior to her election. But the procedural claims in this trial should be valid whether dirt was or was not found.

More generally, it is hardly unusual for government employees to use their privileged access to certain types of information to collect dirt on their political opponents. I have trouble understanding where the lines should be drawn, as the law on such matters is quite vague.


Capital Editorial

Our say: The county needs checks to prevent a repeat of Leopold’s abuse, Capital, March 22, 2016.

Snider Comment

“[T]here were no whistleblower protections for employees willing to complain, and the county Ethics Commission either couldn’t or wouldn’t act.”

The problem is far greater in the Anne Arundel County Public Schools than in Anne Arundel County Government. Specifically, the misuse of government resources for political purposes has consistently been much worse in AACPS than it was in the Leopold administration. The fact that the AACPS Ethics Panel is a joke and that there are no whistleblower protections for parents and others with insider information is only part of the problem. State prosecutors and the Capital have determined it’s not in their self-interest to investigate and report on such abuses, so they flourish in a way that would be inconceivable in County Government.

Yes, I agree that there is “unfinished business” to ensure that government resources aren’t misused for political purposes. But it is AACPS, not the County Government, where this unfinished business is greatest.