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Action-A-Day for 2/28/18: Demand a Stronger Local Ethics Ordinance in Carroll County

Thanks to those who turned out at last night's public hearing to show their support for strengthening the county ethics ordinance to make local government more transparent.

Last November, VOCAL Carroll County, a grassroots organization, began the latest push for our Board of County Commissioners to adopt a stronger ethics ordinance and become compliant with an eight-year-old state law. Right now, Carroll is the ONLY Maryland County that has not complied.

The ethics ordinance would:

  • Strengthen Carroll County citizens' right-to-know about an official's or candidate's potential conflicts of interest by requiring them to disclose more financial information.
  • Strengthen and clarify the process for concerned citizens to file an ethics complaint against a public official and for the investigation and remedy of potential conflicts.

Commissioner Rothschild, who voted last month against proceeding with a public hearing on  the ethics ordinance, held a public presentation entitled "Faulty Ethics Ordinance" directly before last night's public hearing. At his presentation, he urged attendees to speak in opposition to the ethics ordinance at the public hearing.

Carroll County citizens deserve ethically operated local government they can count on to be fair. After years of inaction, the Board of Commissioners must not continue to stall on complying with a state ethics law that was passed unanimously by the MD General Assembly across political divides in 2010.

1. Write to the Board of County Commissioners with your comments. The public record will remain open for 10 days after the public hearing. Email: You can find message points at VOCAL's website and in this petition.  

2. Sign the attached petition to let the County Commissioners know you insist they come into compliance with state law. Please share the petition with three (or more) friends who are Carroll County residents.

3. Read VOCAL's 2/26 press release (linked below) with new details about the history and status of the County's noncompliance with the Maryland State Public Ethics Law.

4. Follow VOCAL's website and Facebook page for further updates.

VOCAL Carroll County Learns New Information about Status and History of Ethics Ordinance
VOCAL  2/26/18 press release

Email and Letter from State regarding review of latest draft ordinance

Document indicating concerns of former County Ethics Administrator

See the VOCAL Carroll County website, Resources page, Ethics Ordinance Project for more info


Ethics ordinance public hearing draws crowd, gets heated
Carroll County Times, 2/27/18

VOCAL Carroll County releases 2012 emails following Rothschild announcement as ethics ordinance hearing looms
Carroll County Times, 2/26/18

Image courtesy of VOCAL