The latest graft disclosures in the Maryland Judiciary, in which documents filed with the court disappear and judges ignored overwhelming misconduct of attorneys involved in cases, underscores just how complicated the war on corruption in Maryland and elsewhere has become. We have heard that a person can buy their case in most Maryland courts if they have the money, or the connections.
This unfortunate incident is a painful reminder of a reality that points to a general collapse in the war on corruption in the state of Maryland and in Prince George’s County in particular. Other counties such as Montgomery County are the epicenter of the misconduct alleged here with connection to other counties.
The war on graft in the Judiciary is not isolated from the national war on corruption that is currently in progress in Maryland and throughout the country. We must continue to request help and work closely with the U.S State attorneys and other leaders committed to reforms in various parts of the country.
For effective war on corruption to be waged, we need all the three arms of government working in sync: This is because, for effective delivery of service, these arms of the state must interact.
For example, if the Executive decided to fight corruption to the exclusion of either the Judiciary or Legislature, the likelihood is that the other two will sabotage such an endeavor. We have seen this first hand after several Maryland delegates in Prince George’s County joined forces to ruin our careers in conspiracy with others.
Much as the Judiciary is an independent arm of government, judicial officers do not have the individual independence to immunize themselves from corruption.
Corruption erodes the independence of our courts. Most judicial officers do not want an independent Judiciary because it reins in their desire to be corrupt.
A wholesome effort is necessary, but the challenge comes once it is clear that society worships the beneficiaries of corrupt dealings. Rather than become an expensive, nauseating enterprise, more people are being attracted to this enterprise because it provides one with the ‘sweet’ opportunity of scaling the economic ladder.
In Prince George’s County, the U.S Attorney office tried to wage this complex war during the tenure of former County Executive Jack Johnson, but from the look of things the County, the Judiciary and personnel connected to the executives are back to being its former true self.
These latest disclosures concerning Federal bribery charges filed over Prince George’s County liquor licenses suggest that corruption is still in full swing in Prince George’s County and in the state of Maryland. Further investigations will review that, the same arm of government that is supposed to fight corruption without any reservations might be heavily involved in some circles. As citizens, we must request for anyone involved to resign their seats.
The tragedy in all this is that, as bad as these events are, the local state Judiciary has not shown a single person with the fire in the belly who can lead the war on corruption and so effectively.
What is needed is a person who can cultivate respect among peers and instill fear in errant judicial and state officers throughout Maryland and set an example for others to follow.
We need new judicial leaders in Maryland who can make cartels and officers engaged in professional misconduct and fraud throughout howl with pain. On these issues, we have been actively trying to get the attention of the Baltimore Sun, the Washington Post, WUSA 9, NBC4 etc for some of these issues, but have been told by many that the politics behind newspapers has stopped some good local stories from being reported there first. So perhaps they will jump on the bandwagon once another one writes first?
All eyes are on Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr in the next few months concerning these issues if the highest courts in Maryland fail to act. As stated in the New Year message, a clean, competent, caring, accountable, inclusive and honest local government is what we must expect. If you missed it, read our new year message here.
Dr. Martin Luther King challenged our nation many years ago to live out that sacred truth: to banish the evils of bigotry, segregation and oppression from the institutions of society and the hearts of men. He was indeed a champion of great principles, laboring mightily and in the end sacrificing his life to advance the cause of equal rights for all. At the level of first principles—in his commitments to natural rights, democratic government, and the irrelevance of race to moral personhood and just social deserts—King’s political thought might properly claim a consensus among virtually all American citizens.
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