Monthly Archives: July 2017

PGCPS School Board Millenials

Published on Jul 12, 2017The Prince George’s Board of Education has three of the youngest school board members in Maryland. Learn who influenced them to run for office & what they consider important issues in the educational system. Patricia Villone reports.


Director of Permitting, Inspections and Enforcement sold Microsoft counterfeit

Who vets hiring and recruitment in the Prince George’s County government?

Long before he became director of the Prince George’s County Department of Permitting, Inspections and Enforcement (DPIE), but while working for the county, Haitham Hijazi and his relatives were in business selling counterfeit Microsoft products.

Hijazi had already become chief of the county’s engineering services. In 1994, he was promoted to associate director of the Department of Public Works and Transportation’s office of engineering. In 1995, in federal court, Microsoft sued Hijazi, his wife, other relatives, and their companies engaged in selling Microsoft knock-offs, and won. See case linked here and here.

The lawsuit, titled Microsoft Corp. v. Grey Computer, et al., was filed December 21, 1995, in Baltimore (United States District Court, Southern District of Maryland). The published ruling can be found in LexisNexis. (910 F. Supp. 1077, Civ. A. No. AW 94-221.)

Plaintiff’s attorneys were Preston, Gates, now after mergers named K & L Gates.

The defendants were Grey Computer, Inc., owned and controlled by the Hijazis; Haitham Hijazi; his wife, Adieba Hijazi; Bilal Hijazi; Husim Hijazi; and Integrated Computers Electronic, Inc., another Maryland corporation owned and controlled by the Hijazi family.

The memorandum opinion by Judge Alexander Williams, Jr., lays out the case with laudable clarity:

Microsoft Corporation (“Microsoft”) instituted this civil action against Grey Computer, Inc. (“Grey”), Integrated Computer Electronic, Inc. (“ICE”), Intelligent Data Systems (“IDS”) and their respective principals.[1] Microsoft claims that Defendants infringed upon their copyrights and trademarks by selling or distributing counterfeit copies of Microsoft’s software products.

Before his appointment to the bench, Judge Williams had served as a States Attorney, a public defender, and a Juvenile Master in P. G. He became a federal judge the same year Haitham Hijazi became a public official in the P. G. County Office of Engineering.


Opening of DPIE

From the county press release announcing Hijazi’s appointment as director of the newly created DPIE:

Earlier in his government career, Dr. Hijazi served as the Associate Director of DPW&T’s Office of Engineering from July 1994 – October 2004; and, prior to that, he was the Chief of the Engineering Services Division within the Office of Engineering.  Before joining Prince George’s County Government, Dr. Hijazi was the Chief Engineer and Operations Manager for Light, Elliot and Associates, a private engineering consulting firm located in Adelphi, Maryland.

Microsoft discovered the counterfeits:

On 31 January 1994, Microsoft commenced this action by filing its Complaint against Grey Computer, ICE and their respective principals, among others. In its original complaint Microsoft alleged copyright infringement, trademark infringement, false designation of origin and unfair competition arising out of the Defendants’ purported sale of counterfeit copies of Microsoft’s software products. On 1 February 1994, Microsoft personnel accompanied the U.S. Marshal Service as it executed a Writ of Seizure and Impound issued by this Court against Grey and ICE. Consequently, Microsoft obtained information indicating that Grey and ICE were involved in unauthorized distribution of counterfeit versions of Microsoft MS-DOS and Windows software products. Such information included a recently arrived shipment of approximately 1,000 units of alleged counterfeit Microsoft software products from Direct Wholesale. The information also included business records of Grey and ICE which confirmed that Direct Wholesale was the source of supply for the seized units of unauthorized Microsoft software products.

Microsoft then went farther back up the distribution pipeline:

On 2 February 1994, Microsoft filed its First Amended Complaint adding Direct Wholesale as a party defendant and obtained a Supplemental Writ of Seizure and Impound against Direct Wholesale. On 4 February 1994, the U.S. Marshal, accompanied by Microsoft’s attorneys, seized a box of eighteen diskettes containing Microsoft Windows software and along with various business records from Direct Wholesale. The records suggested that Direct Wholesale distributed counterfeit Microsoft software products nationally, as well as to Grey and ICE. The records, some of which were cryptically coded, also indicated that Direct Wholesale purchased and distributed unauthorized Microsoft software products in an unusual and suspicious manner. The seizures eventually revealed that Direct Wholesale purchased and distributed approximately 45,848 units of counterfeit Microsoft software products. Thereafter Microsoft filed another amended complaint adding Direct Wholesale’s sole shareholders and officers, Dewitt Williams and Timothy Mazoch, as party defendants.

Microsoft also won its amended case against the other individuals and another company involved in the production and sale of Microsoft knock-offs, moving for

summary judgment on issues of liability and damages against Direct Wholesale, Dewitt Williams and Timothy Mazoch (collectively “Defendants”). It also seeks a permanent injunction to prevent Defendants from further distributing, offering for sale or selling counterfeit computer software bearing Microsoft’s marks.

As Judge Williams summarized the two opposing positions in our adversarial court system,

Microsoft urges that this is a clear cut case of copyright and trademark infringement. Microsoft alleges Defendants distributed counterfeit goods, bearing Microsoft’s marks. Microsoft asserts that Defendants distributed poor quality copies of its copyrighted works and deceived consumers.

 Defendants urge that they were innocent infringers. Williams and Mazoch posit that they conducted Direct Wholesale’s business according to the practices and procedures they learned while working as salesmen/brokers in the computer software field.

The Hijazis and their companies then sued their suppliers. They were able to settle out of court with Microsoft, but the unambiguous court’s ruling enjoined them from selling any more of the pseudo-Microsoft products.

Microsoft subsequently examined about 1,000 units of the seized software. The examination confirmed Microsoft’s suspicions that the software products were unauthorized and counterfeit reproductions of Microsoft software products. ICE and Grey, among others, filed crossclaims and a third-party complaint against Direct Wholesale. Microsoft settled its dispute with ICE, Grey, Adieba Hijazi, Bilal Hijazi, Hiatham Hijazi, Husim Hijazi, Intelligent Data Systems, Inc. and Nasser Faraj. Accordingly, the Court entered separate stipulated permanent injunctions against each of these defendants.

The recovered counterfeits were ordered turned over to Microsoft for destruction.

Based on information it gathered during the seizures and other relevant information, Microsoft moved for summary judgment against Direct Wholesale, Williams and Mazoch on its claims of copyright and trademark infringement, unauthorized distribution, false designation of origin and unfair competition. On 25 September 1995, the Court heard oral argument regarding Microsoft’s and ICE’s motions for summary judgment. Despite notice, Defendants chose not to attend the hearing. For the reasons set forth more fully below the Court will issue a written order granting Microsoft’s and ICE’s motions for summary judgment as to their third-party complaint. The Court will also grant Microsoft’s request for a permanent injunction and will order the impounded counterfeit software products delivered to Microsoft for destruction.

The case seems to have been relatively clear. The defendants did not dispute Microsoft’s ownership “of all of the software products at issue.”

Microsoft has provided the Court with evidence showing that the copyrights in all of the Microsoft products involved were registered with the United States Copyright Office in compliance with the Copyright Revision Act of 1976 and regulations flowing therefrom. See 17 U.S.C. § 101, et seq. Microsoft has valid Certificates of Registration for all of its software products. Moreover, it has been and still is the sole owner of all right, title and interest in, and to, the relevant copyrights and Certificates of Registration.

The defendants also did not dispute that “they were involved in copying Microsoft’s software products.”

Defendants Williams and Mazoch admit that from November 1993 through January 1994, ninety to ninety-five percent of their business involved the distribution of software products. While Williams and Mazoch claim that only eighty-five to ninety percent of their software sales involved the distribution of Microsoft software products, the invoices seized from Direct Wholesale indicate that nearly all of its business involved the distribution of counterfeit Microsoft software products during that time period.

Such arguments as the defendants did present were rejected by the court. For example,

Defendants argue that they did not intentionally copy Microsoft’s products. They posit that they had never seen and had no knowledge of Microsoft’s prerequisite licensing practices or of any of the limitations Microsoft imposed upon product distribution.

As the court wrote,

There is no dispute that Williams and Mazoch received the news releases regarding the sale of Microsoft’s software products and the restrictions. Williams and Mazoch are experienced computer software professionals with experience in the software industry dating back to 1989. They both had enough business savvy to engage in a successful, albeit, illegal business venture.

Regarding the thousands of computer products being distributed through ICE, the Hijazis’ company,

Finally, Defendants urge that Microsoft has only presented circumstantial evidence of copying. Defendants contend that there is no factual basis for Microsoft’s conclusion that the various units of software it examined “appeared identical” to Microsoft’s software products. They further contend that when Microsoft seized the software shipment from ICE, it had no way of knowing if the boxes had been previously opened or unsealed. Thus, according to Defendants, Microsoft had no way of knowing if the boxes had been tampered with after leaving Direct Wholesale.

This argument was also rebuffed by the court:

Microsoft counters that the facts of this case coupled with Defendants’ admissions clearly establish that the units shipped by Direct Wholesale and seized at ICE on 1 February 1994 were from Direct Wholesale and were counterfeit. Microsoft directs the Court’s attention to Williams’ statements that Direct Wholesale regularly shipped software products to ICE; that the products were normally shipped out of California; and, that prior to the seized shipment, Direct Wholesale had very little difficulty with ICE in terms of payment. (Williams Dep., p. 48-49).

The Court is satisfied that Microsoft has demonstrated that Defendants were engaged in copying Microsoft’s software products. “Copying can be shown by circumstantial evidence of access to the copyrighted work, and substantial similarity between the copyrighted work and the infringer’s work.” Johnson Controls, 886 F.2d at 1176) (citations omitted). Defendants do not dispute that they had access to Microsoft’s copyrighted work. Nor do they deny the substantial similarity between the seized software and Microsoft’s copyrighted work.

Moreover, nothing in the facts support Defendants’ conspiracy theory that some unidentified person or persons removed the units shipped from Direct Wholesale and replaced them with the seized units. The counterfeit software from Direct Wholesale was seized upon delivery. At no time did anyone other than the United States Marshal’s Service or the court-appointed custodian have possession, custody or control over the counterfeit Microsoft Software Products once they were delivered to ICE. This is self-serving conjecture on the part of Defendants and mere conjecture is not enough to create a genuine issue of material fact sufficient to withstand summary judgment. See Thompson Everett, Inc. v. National Cable Advertising, L.P.,57 F.3d 1317, 1323 (4th Cir.1995).

Indeed, the court found that the companies’ copyright infringement was extensive:

Moreover, Microsoft conducted a thorough examination of the business records seized from Direct Wholesale. See Agranov Declaration. Using sales invoices seized from Direct Wholesale on 4 February 1994, Microsoft was able to determine that Direct Wholesale distributed counterfeit versions of Microsoft’s software products. Based on Microsoft’s depositions of Mazoch and Williams, Microsoft further determined that Direct Wholesale used Allstates Air Cargo for shipping software. The evidence Microsoft provided to the Court is clear and overwhelming that Direct Wholesale distributed tens of thousands of the counterfeit software products.

Commenting that “‘The hallmark of any trademark infringement claim’ is consumer confusion,” the court found that

Defendants’ infringing activities caused consumer confusion. Microsoft’s marks are world renowned and Defendants do not dispute the strength or the distinctiveness of the marks. Defendants also do not, as they cannot, dispute that the marks they used in distributing the counterfeit software products were virtually identical to Microsoft’s marks. Based upon a review of the evidence, including deposition testimony and seized business records, Defendants clearly intended for the consuming public to believe that the marks they used were the valid and incontestable Microsoft marks. Based upon Direct Wholesale’s sales invoices, Defendants achieved their purpose.

In addition to the likelihood of confusion, moreover, the court found that “Microsoft has demonstrated actual confusion.” Prince George’s County’s future director of permitting and inspections was one customer who expressed that he was confused:

According to one consumer, ICE, it believed that it was purchasing bona fide Microsoft computer software from Defendants. Recognizing the deception, ICE has also filed a motion for summary judgment regarding issues of liability and damages. Upon all the evidence, Microsoft is entitled to summary judgment for unfair competition.

Thus during the litigation, ICE (Intelligrated Computers Electronic, Inc.), the Hijazis’ company, basically joined Microsoft’s side. The Direct Wholesale defendants continued to claim that they were innocent infringers. This part of the case, with the court’s opinion, is juicy enough to warrant extended quotation:

The Court disagrees.

The facts indicate that Defendants Williams and Mazoch were very familiar with the software industry at the time they opened Direct Wholesale. Defendants were also familiar with licensing and distribution practices among the industry. They knew Microsoft had specific guidelines regarding licensing and distribution for its software products and they do not deny that they received news releases which outlined Microsoft’s licensing practices.

Defendants knew that Microsoft did not distribute its software without an accompanying personal computer. Indeed, each unit of the purported Microsoft software bore the legend that the software was “for sale only with a new PC”. Yet, Defendants never questioned any of their suppliers. Instead, they turned a blind eye to the business practices of their suppliers and other software manufacturers. This alone is enough to defeat Defendants’ claims that they were innocent infringers. See Microsoft Corp.,872 F.Supp. 1329, 1340-1341 (D.N.J.1994); Little Mole Music v. Spike Investment, Inc.,720 F.Supp. 751, 755 (W.D.Mo.1989).

Yet, even more damaging is Defendants’ very own business records and practices. Direct Wholesale used a cryptic coding system to hide what brand of software product they were selling. When compared with the sales invoices the coding system was easily decipherable, and what Direct Wholesale was masking was counterfeit Microsoft software products.

Williams and Mazoch testified that while A-Tech, Hypertec and Fantasy Unlimited were three suppliers from whom they purchased the counterfeit Microsoft software products, they regularly called their contacts from the different companies using a single company phone number, A-Tech’s. Williams Dep., pp. 20-21. They knew that A-Tech, Fantasy Unlimited and Hypertec were really one operation. Id.; Mazoch Dep., pp. 45, 77-78. In at least one transaction, Direct Wholesale purchased counterfeit Microsoft products from Hypertec and was first instructed to make a certified check payable to Hypertec, then to A-Tech and then to Fantasy Unlimited. Williams Dep., pp. 20-21. Mazoch also testified that he knew that Microsoft had cancelled the licenses of several original equipment manufacturers.

A typical Direct Wholesale transaction involving counterfeit Microsoft products involved a shipping scheme specifically designed to disguise the true nature of the goods that were being purchased and distributed by Direct Wholesale. On every shipping order, Direct Wholesale described the boxes containing the counterfeit software as containing “manuals.” Direct Wholesale also typically paid its California suppliers by wiring cash to the personal bank account of Willie Banks, an Allstates Air Cargo truck driver. Banks then converted the wire transfer to cash or check and paid for the goods when picked up. The pick-up locations was rarely the same for the supplier and Allstates usually called the California supplier to ascertain the exact location. Williams Dep., pp. 17-18. Once he picked up the counterfeit software, Banks placed a Direct Wholesale shipping label on the boxes of “manuals” in order to hide the true origination of the boxes. Mazoch Dep., p. 49. Indeed, according to Williams, during the entire time in which Direct Wholesale sold the counterfeit Microsoft products, it never stored, or even saw, a single unit of the 45,848 units of counterfeit products it distributed. Williams Dep., p. 36.

The Court finds that Defendants intentionally distributed 45,848 units of counterfeit Microsoft software products.

The numbers became rather impressive. The court awarded Microsoft “equitable damages,” a calculation of profits lost based on number of counterfeit products sold.

Per unit profits is “what a willing buyer would have been reasonably required to pay to a willing seller for” the infringing works.

“Direct Wholesale distributed the infringing software products from February 1993 through January 1994.”

The evidence, including Williams’ and Mazoch’s admissions, clearly establishes that Direct Wholesale distributed 660 units of MS-DOS in the period covering the third quarter of the 1993 fiscal year; 2,302 units in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 1993; 4,972 units in the first quarter of fiscal year 1994; 7,822 units in the second quarter of fiscal year 1994; and 1,748 units in the third quarter of fiscal year 1994.

Microsoft also seeks damages for lost profits due to Direct Wholesale’s distribution of infringing Windows products. The evidence clearly establishes that, at a minimum, Direct Wholesale distributed 258 units of Windows during the period covering the third quarter of fiscal year 1993; 1,709 units in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 1993; 8,962 in the first quarter of fiscal year 1994; 9,235 units in the second quarter of fiscal year 1994; and, 8,170 units in the third quarter of fiscal year 1994. Direct Wholesale also distributed eight units during the period from February 1993 through January 1994.

Based on the documentation Microsoft submitted to the Court, it suffered $458,454.26 and $838,067.46 in lost profits due to Direct Wholesale’s distribution of counterfeit MS-DOS and Windows, respectively. Microsoft’s total loss for both products is $1,296,521.72. Microsoft sustained this loss due to Defendants’ willful violation of the Lanham Act.

As noted, the Hijazis’ company was a regular paying customer for these products: “From 23 July 1993 through 27 December 1993, ICE paid Direct Wholesale $195,773.63 for the purported Microsoft software to use in its PC sales.” Again,

Microsoft directs the Court’s attention to Williams’ statements that Direct Wholesale regularly shipped software products to ICE; that the products were normally shipped out of California; and, that prior to the seized shipment, Direct Wholesale had very little difficulty with ICE in terms of payment. (Williams Dep., p. 48-49).

Integrated Computer Electronics, Inc., thus paid almost $200,000 for the Microsoft knock-offs in one six-month period.

Integrated Computer Electronics was incorporated in the state of Maryland in 1992. It is now listed as “Not in Good Standing” in the state corporations database (under “Integrated Computers Electronics”). The name changed in 2002 to Stallion Technology, Inc., with Adieba Hijazi, Haitham Hijazi’s wife, as president. It has forfeited its registry in the state corporations database at least three times for not filing required documents. The company with the very similar name and sharing one of the Hijazis’ business addresses is also listed as “Forfeited” in the Maryland database, INTEGRATED COMPUTER CONCEPTS, INC., formed in 1987. “Grey Computer” is not listed in the Maryland state database.

Emailed and telephoned requests for comment to Hijazi’s office have not been returned. There is no indication in county records that Hijazi as a public servant was questioned about his side businesses, even after Microsoft sued him individually and through his family’s companies in federal court. Nor were questions raised about Hijazi’s expertise in inspecting and permitting, following his six-figure purchases of counterfeit products from fellow defendants Timothy Mazoch and DeWitt Williams. Questions for Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker’s office have also not been returned.

More to come.

via Margie Burns


Unmasking Prince George’s County Corruption and other violations Part III


Mr. Calvin Hawkins

The FBI headquarters project was cancelled because of the many violations some of which are covered herein. For example, following our expose’ on Wednesday July 5th, 2017, the county leadership engaged in a retaliatory mission led by Mr. Calvin Hawkins (above). Once again Mr. Hawkins has enlisted his bullies to ensure victory over the county seat by any means necessary.

On Friday  July 7, 2017, two PG NAACP chapter officers called Ms. Tara Maxwell and told her that they did not like a post of hers, which concerned Mr. Hawkins’ candidacy for Prince George’s County council. (See the post below). She was later harassed by Mr. David Chapman.  It is the duty of the NAACP to remain neutral and show leadership in situations such as this, instead of takings sides and dividing members of the community. However, this is not the first time this PG NAACP chapter has failed the community;  we are all too familiar with the story of Carmen Johnson who was recently sentenced to 2 years in Federal prison for her corrupt schemes.  The NAACP should be commending Ms. Tara Maxwell for standing up and speaking out against corrupt and toxic leadership instead of threatening, slandering, and harassing her.



This is the original post of which two PG NAACP chapter officers called Ms. Tara Maxwell and told her that they did not like a post of hers, which concerned Mr. Hawkins’ candidacy for Prince George’s County council.


David chapman



Systemic corruption impedes market development, drives away investment, and erodes the rule of law. Prevalent corruption can render a populace susceptible to demagogic political appeals, and de-legitimizes political leadership. In economic terms, corruption diverts investments and distorts markets – with the poor bearing the brunt of the negative economic impact. Consequently, improving governance and eliminating corrupt practices are the keys to improving business performance, establishing rule of law, and ensuring that democracy delivers for citizens.

We must pressure State and local law makers to pass and enforce laws which protect whistle blowers who call out foul play and corruption.

Racism is wrong

These things we know to be true: Racism is wrong,  Everyone is the same, and everyone should be treated equal. Whether you’re African-American, Mexican, White, Asian, African, Chinese, Indian, or other, if you were to cut yourself you would bleed red — everyone does. It’s the same for both the rich and the poor. We all get buried in the same ground, and get covered with the same dirt. Regardless of different skin color, we are all human beings.  Even if scientific distinctions between races could be made, the idea of a “pure” race is pure fiction. The New Encyclopedia Britannica observes: “There are no pure races; all racial groups currently existing are thoroughly mixed.”  Whatever the case, the Bible teaches that God “made out of one man every nation of men.” (Acts 17:26) Regardless of skin color, hair texture, or facial features, there is only one race—the human race.

As stated before in this blog, whenever you have a significant numbers of staff saying the same thing about an administrator or others in the system – there’s usually something to it. (“There is no smoke without a fire” to quote a familiar maxim.)  You just don’t get that many people independently agreeing on a person’s behavior without that person having done something to merit those opinions.  In the case of Mr. Hawkins, many people share the same opinion.  He has shown himself to harbor a racist agenda.  See for yourself:




Racism, A Key Factor In Systemic Corruption

One factor that fuels the problems of corruption in Prince George’s County is racial loyalty. People in Prince George’s County are first and foremost loyal to their families, then their clan (extended family), then their race. Members of the same race or tribe often ‘help’ each other, even if it involves corruption. Racial influences have waned somewhat over the years, but are still strong.  As demonstrated by Hawkins’ and Chapman’s assault against Ms. Maxwell.  Shamelessly, Hawkins and Chapman have attempted to slander Ms. Maxwell by playing on racial tensions in the county, in an attempt to silence her and further their corrupt agenda.  We must band together to denounce this unethical practice, and select ethical leaders who are worthy of leading our community. It’s time!

more to come.

wheel of corruption


Unmasking Prince George’s County Corruption and other violations Part II

ap-fbibuilding-1.jpgMonday July 10, 2017, will be remembered for a long time by Prince George’s County top leadership as the day that the federal government pulled the plug on plans to move the FBI headquarters to the County.  County leaders still expected a reward in the form of a new FBI Headquarters complex in spite of the rampant corruption and scandal which has come to define their governance. Despite being knees deep in the corruption himself, County Executive Rushern Baker III felt he had come tantalizingly close to winning “the crown jewel” of his development plan, and vowed to keep fighting for it.

“We’re not going to give up,” Baker told the press. “We’re going to fight very hard.”

Of all the local officials involved in the plans for moving the headquarters, Baker may have the most to lose. A candidate for Maryland’s Democratic gubernatorial nomination, he had been confident in his ability to bring the headquarters and its associated development to Prince George’s County.  Not only did Rushern fail to deliver on his promise, but now the County is left without much needed development and further allegations of corruption.  The people must demand an independent investigation into this corruption, as well as the cozy relationships between controversially appointed judges, lawyers and politicians in Prince George’s County.  Recent claims in the community have alleged that civil judgeships – with annual salaries $150,000 or more and in some cases less – are for sale.

In a statement announcing the cancellation of the FBI move, the GSA cited a shortfall of $882 million on the $1.4 billion requested for the project this year as the reason.

Local officials, particularly those from Maryland, expressed outrage at the news.

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) said he would be asking the GSA for documents justifying the cancellation. “We’re going to get to the bottom of this decision,” Van Hollen said.

Added Baker: “The longer we delay, the more money it costs the American people.”

However, in our view the real reasons for the cancellation may be due to rampant corruption which continues to grow in Maryland, and is present even at the highest levels of government. Corruption is a particularly large problem in Prince George’s County. Therefore, it is understandable why the Federal government pulled the plug on the FBI headquarters.

One reason the county will continue to fail and loose money is the overwhelming illegal activity, racism and retaliation in every sector of the county led by Mr. Rushern Baker III. There are other officers engaged in malfeasance, such as Mr. Calvin Hawkins who we can expect to continue the current illegal agenda at the expense of the county citizenry if elected as part of the next council.

Wasteful government isn’t only a federal phenomenon. And if you’re an honest government employee in the Prince George’s County you better watch out. Because if you “blow the whistle” on inappropriate, unethical, or improper government spending, you can expect your bosses to retaliate for speaking up on the tax-payers behalf. This does not have to be the case.

We expect, the Federal Government to revisit the issue of the new FBI facility once the current situation in Prince George’s County is sorted out in the future to help the men and women of the law enforcement community.

It’s time to cultivate and nurture a community in which honest people are valued and a culture of trust is developed. Let us take the politics out of the issues and put more time for values and interests. Bad politics mixed up with corruption and cover ups as shown locally here in Prince George’s County is what is destroying communities. It’s time to work together to develop strategies on issues which matter to the future of the county with a strong commitment to data.

As pointed out before, Democrats have to change how they recruit candidates to run for offices in Maryland, the south and midwest. Again, If they keep using the same playbook and abusing President Donald Trump every chance they get, there will be plenty of moral victories, but it will be Republicans taking oaths of office and winning contracts as the democratic party shrinks in numbers never seen before.

more to come.



Benjamin Louis Cardin is an American politician and member of the Democratic Party who serves as the senior United States Senator from Maryland, in office since 2007.


United States Senator Christopher Van Hollen Jr. said he would be asking the GSA for documents justifying the cancellation. “We’re going to get to the bottom of this decision,” Van Hollen said.

rep brown_1484621703708_7697858_ver1.0

Maryland Congressman Anthony Brown is part of the Maryland delegation to the United States Congress.


Despite being knees deep in the corruption himself, County Executive Rushern Baker III (pictured here) felt he had come tantalizingly close to winning “the crown jewel” of his development plan, and vowed to keep fighting for it.


New Md. law restricts school expulsions, suspensions for young students


SILVER SPRING, MD (WUSA9) – A new law in Maryland will take aim at restricting a growing number of kids, the youngest students of all, from getting kicked out of school.

The law applies to second grade kids and younger.

In 2016-2016, 2,363 primary aged kids were suspended or expelled from school, a 17 percent increase from the year before.

It’s a statistic that disturbs educational advocates, says Senator Will Smith, one of the bill’s sponsors.

RELATED: Maryland bill limits school suspensions for its youngest students

“When you drill down on the numbers you find that children of color, specifically African Americans and children with disabilities were disproportionately suspended, so it has a real disparate impact on more vulnerable communities”  Said Smith.

The rates for suspensions and expulsions vary widely depending on the district. Prince George’s County had among the highest rates.

Zafar Shah’s son, Zakir, had an undiagnosed anxiety disorder in Kindergarten and first grade. He was suspended formally three times.

But Shah says he was informally sent home, too many times to count.

“I think for him it must have felt that these people who were like his family didn’t want him any more,” he said.

Shah said his son was sent home so often, the school never completed an obligatory assessment of his son’s behavior.

An attorney, Shah said was expected to pick up his son at a moment’s notice, forcing him to bring his son into the office with him, once calling as he was about to appear in court.

RELATED: Family fighting school system for mentally ill child seeks help from WUSA9

“I said, ‘well what if I don’t come,’ because I really couldn’t. And I was told, at that point that if I didn’t send a friend or come, that they could call the police to get my son out of the building.”

Shah says he’s not optimistic the bill will be effective.

One exception to law allows a school psychologist to deem a student a threat to staff and students. In Zakir’s case, he was often classed such a threat.

Shah said he’s personally offended by the notion there are bad kids.

“I’ve been there with my son, and I’ve seen that he’s not a bad person. He’s a good kid going through a bad time. There’s no excuse for treating him like his baddest moment, or his worst moment defines him,” said Shah.

This is the second time the state has tried to pass a law like this. Last time, it failed because it included kids in all grades.

As for those older students, the state has just commissioned a study looking at alternative forms of discipline.

via WUSA9



Ex-School PGCPS Aide Who Abused Students Asks Judge to Drop State Charges


Deonte Carraway, 22, A former Prince George’s County school aide charged with taking and sharing cellphone video of children performing sex acts wrote a letter to the judge asking all state charges against him be dropped. Tracee Wilkins reports. 

A former Prince George’s County school aide charged with taking and sharing cellphone video of children performing sex acts wrote a letter to the judge asking all state charges against him be dropped.

“I, Deonte Carraway, feel that my lawyer is not representing me in my best interest,” he wrote in the letter dated June 12.

He said he hasn’t been in contact with his lawyer in more than a year and he should have already gone to trial, saying he didn’t sign a waiver. He said his family would reach out to the media if his concerns were not addressed.

“I wish only to be treated fair,” he wrote.

The public defender’s office did not return a request for comment.

The judge wrote back saying that his concerns can be addressed at his next court hearing and that he did sign a waiver to a speedy trial in August 2016.

Carraway already entered guilty pleas to 15 federal charges of sexual exploitation of a minor to produce child pornography. He is scheduled for sentencing in August.

Carraway was an aide at Judge Sylvania Woods Elementary School in Glenarden.

He admitted in his plea agreement he engaged in sex acts with children, using a cellphone to record the acts. He also told the children to perform sex acts with each other and gave them phones to record the acts.

He founded a club at the school and had children send him sexually explicit images in order to join. In court, prosecutors said Carraway video chatted with one 12 year old, telling the victim to perform inappropriate behaviors.

The abuse began in the fall of 2015 and continued for more than a year inside Judge Sylvania Woods Elementary, where he volunteered. He also reportedly recorded sex abuse videos in the homes of his victims and at the Glenarden Community Center.

Carraway was arrested in February 2016 after the uncle of a 9-year-old boy saw a nude image on the child’s phone, police said. Investigators then linked the aide to other victims in the case.

Last year, Carraway was indicted in Prince George’s County Court on 270 criminal charges of sex abuse of a minor, sex offenses and child pornography. He pleaded not guilty.prince_george_s_county_public_schools_ce_0_1990798_ver1-0_640_360

Source: Ex-School Aide Who Abused Students Asks Judge to Drop State Charges | NBC4 Washington

Democratic party machine in Maryland set for major losses in 2018 after coverups.


Here is a poster which will cost the Democratic Party in Maryland dearly in 2018. Unless Democratic Party machine in Maryland does something to change the perseption, Mr. Baker appears determined to go down with the entire Democratic Party system in Maryland after engaging in a series of misleading posts such as the one shown above.

Everybody knows Mr. Baker did not fight corruption. If anything, he promoted and covered up serious issues to the detriment of Prince George’s county. There continues to be major political violations including promotion of candidates with ties to corruption and corrupt networks such as Mr. Calvin Hawkins.  (See post below) Money disappeared under Mr. Hawkins and then covered up, yet he wants to be elected for at large seat in 2018. How is that going to happen without accountability?

In this paper, we study candidate self-selection with respect to two dimensions of character: public spirit, which is defined as altruism toward other citizens, and honesty, which is defined as susceptibility to corruption. Those two characteristics impact the quality of governance, defined as the net benefit the representative citizen derives from the public sector. In our model, citizens who run for office may hope to benefit from both legitimate compensation (salary and ego-rents) and illicit compensation (contributions or bribes from interest groups). Moreover, dishonest citizens extract greater rents from holding office because of special interest politics. As a result, the citizens with the greatest incentive to run for office are those who are maximally dishonest, and either maximally or minimally public-spirited.


There continues to be major political violations including promotion of candidates with ties to corruption and corrupt networks such as Mr. Calvin Hawkins.  (See post below) Money disappeared under Mr. Hawkins and then covered up, yet he wants to be elected for at large seat in 2018. How is that going to happen without accountability?

On another note, Others online feel that, Mr. Baker should retire and spend more time caring for his wife who has been sick. (See posts below). Either way, if Mr. Baker is going to be in the ballot for any position in the next several months, watch this space, the Maryland Democratic machine in Maryland will suffer loses never seen before. They will pay the price for cover up of corruption in multiple areas starting with the school systems.

The problem for Democrats is not money, Trump, or, even as some suggest, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. The problem for Democrats is they suffer from a cultural detachment as shown in this case here or in the recent elections in the South and areas of the Midwest and now promotion of candidates such as Mr. Baker in Maryland. Until they are willing to accept candidates that don’t adhere to left-wing orthodoxy promulgated by the party at the national level, they’ll keep losing, just like they did in Georgia and South Carolina.

Contrary to the false narrative many helped build about people who live in the south, many of them are not the all-encompassing right-wing fanatics people make them out to be. They are sympathetic to Democratic positions on issues such as healthcare, entitlements and the economy.

Trump won big in the South because he stressed economic issues above all else, but he aligned himself with voters on cultural issues such as abortion and the Second Amendment. People in the South have concerns with trade practices, NAFTA and the lack of manufacturing jobs. But they also have guns to protect their homes and go to the range from time to time to shoot. They also sympathize with the unborn, and when Democrats condescendingly dismiss their concerns with a finger wag or adhere to Pelosi-held viewpoints, they look to Republicans.

Democratic Party in Maryland has been making positive statements on the surface and then doing the complete opposite is what will bring the party down hard. For example,..  …”Democrats know that achieving the American dream requires strong public schools that level the playing field for young people regardless of income, gender or race. And it requires an open heart and warm welcome to immigrants who seek opportunity to work and become Americans in our land of opportunity. Those are the values we will celebrate this holiday weekend at picnics, parades, and family parties all across our beautiful state of Maryland.” …. Those who are in touch with reality knows the opposite of this statement to be true.

Democrats have to change how they recruit candidates to run for offices in Maryland, the south and midwest. If they keep using the same playbook, there will be plenty of moral victories, but it will be Republicans taking oaths of office as the democratic party shrinks in numbers never seen before.

more to come.





2018 Maryland Governor Technology Outreach Scorecards


Here is the summary page for candidates running for Governor in Maryland in 2018. We are posting links to the ongoing Technology Outreach Scorecards (expected to start in the late fall of 2017) and will be your one stop shop for all things Maryland Governor election related news and information…so be sure to check back often in our blogs. We are going to collaborate with other bloggers in Maryland to recommend the best candidate in the future election.

Read more >>> Candidate Filing requirements.

State Board of Elections Candidate List

Candidate Website  FaceBook  Twitter
Larry Hogan (R) Facebook Twitter
Rushern Baker (D) Facebook Twitter
Ben Jealous (D) Facebook Twitter
Rich Madaleno (D) Facebook Twitter
Alec Ross (D) Facebook Twitter
Raloh Jaffe (D) Facebook
Shawn Quinn (L) Facebook



Some employees in a large Maryland school system see signs of grade tampering


Prince George’s County schools chief Kevin Maxwell, right, has called allegations of systemic corruption baseless and politically motivated. (Mark Gail/For The Washington Post)

As Maryland orders an investigation into whether grades were manipulated to drive up graduation rates in Prince George’s County, employees at several of the district’s high schools say they have encountered signs of grade tampering and pressure to pass their students.

Eight employees, based in six of the county’s 22 high schools, described in interviews with The Washington Post grading incidents they found troubling after allegations emerged of corruption in the school system. Gov. Larry Hogan (R) asked for an investigation on June 25, and the state board of education voted to pursue it two days later.

Prince George’s school officials deny that they engaged in any effort to fraudulently inflate graduation rates, while those who made the allegations — a minority bloc on the 14-member county school board — say dozens of whistleblowers have come forward with evidence.

Employees interviewed on the issue agreed to speak on the condition of anonymity, saying they feared retaliation for speaking out. Several told of being thwarted if they tried to fail a student, which they described as part of a larger push to raise on-time graduation rates.

“It’s a problem we’ve been dealing with a few years now, but it has definitely gotten worse,” one teacher said.

Kevin Maxwell, chief executive of the school system, has called allegations of systemic corruption baseless and politically motivated. He and the school board’s majority said they welcomed a state-ordered review, saying it would put the issue to rest.

Maxwell has pointed to an earlier state investigation of graduation rates as evidence that the district does not have a problem. But critics have said that examination was not sufficiently impartial or broad, largely relying on several hours of interviews with Maxwell and four people he had a hand in selecting.

As the debate has intensified, some educators and other employees offered glimpses of what they see as the problem.

One said he did everything he could this year to help a senior headed toward failure — contacting parents, alerting a counselor and an administrator and referring him to a school intervention team. But little changed, so the teenager got an E — a failing grade — in an English course required for graduation.

A couple weeks later, he said, he spotted the student in a cap and gown, collecting a diploma. How that happened remains a mystery, he said. “It solidified what I’d heard about grades being changed and that administrators will do whatever it takes to make sure they meet their graduation rates,” he said.

At another school, a teacher said two of her seniors this year missed weeks of school, did not do assignments or make up work, and failed her course. But the principal encouraged students and their families to appeal, she said, and their course grades were revised to a C and a D. She was told both graduated.

“For a child not to come to class — maybe been in class three days in a whole quarter — and you’re going to change their grade?” she asked. “It’s not right. If they don’t come to school, and they don’t do the work, they deserve to fail. It doesn’t help them.”

The teacher said she believes such appeals and “recovery packets” of work are “a front” for grading changes that allow students to graduate. She said the focus is not only seniors: “They do it for freshmen, sophomores and juniors.” In all, she estimated grades were changed improperly for more than 10 of her students during the past few years.

At a third high school, an employee with firsthand knowledge said grade-change forms are often signed by the principal but not by teachers. The employee said the forms are often attached to academic “packets” designed to compensate for missed or failed work, but many of the packets are only partly complete.

“I think it’s all a numbers game,” the employee said, alleging that more than 100 students at the school graduated with the help of such changes during the past four years.

Four-year graduation rates in Prince George’s have jumped from 74.1 percent in 2013 to 81.4 percent in 2016 — lower than the state average of 87.6 percent but the largest gain for that period of any school system in Maryland.

Maxwell has pointed to the progress as a signature accomplishment since he was hired as schools chief in 2013.

In February, he and other top administrators did a bus tour of the eight county high schools with a graduation rate of 90 percent or better. Students and staff cheered their success, with banners celebrating them as part of the “90 Percent Club.”

Two years earlier, no Prince George’s high school was at 90 percent.

School system officials said they could not comment on questions employees raised about grades without knowing names of the students involved. But they said graduation rates have climbed in recent years as a result of several efforts.

The district has worked with high school principals to set targets for graduation rates, with increases of three to five percentage points over three years, officials said. They said the numbers are goals, with no penalties or bonuses involved.

They also said student support and intervention have been improved through early-warning systems that identify those at risk and a credit recovery program that gives failing students another chance at learning and boosting their grades so they can stay on track.

One teacher at a 90-percent school said that the day Maxwell and others arrived at her school, she and some of her colleagues rolled their eyes.

“We knew that it wasn’t real,” she said. “It’s just common knowledge that they push kids through who shouldn’t be pushed through.” She said she worries about the message to younger siblings and students who show up and try hard. “Why should they continue to work hard?” she asked. “Why should they come to school and listen to their teachers about putting in maximum effort when you don’t have to?”

Another longtime teacher said that in a couple of cases, students have let her know they passed her class when she knew they failed. She had not signed a grade-change form, she said. “It’s appalling to me,” she said. “I’m not averse to helping a student pass. But when people are pressuring you to do it, when it happens behind your back, that’s when it’s problematic.”

At another county high school, a teacher said she once returned from a three-day leave that fell at the end of a marking period to find that all of her students with failing grades had been given 80 percent for the quarter. That was the threshold for a B, which she said they did not deserve. She said she complained, to no avail. She said tampering needs to stop.

“Kids deserve to get educated,” she said. “You don’t give someone a grade they didn’t earn.”

Prince George’s high school principals disputed allegations of improper practices, saying schools succeed for reasons including a “laserlike focus” on ninth-grade promotion rates and graduation rates, and programs that give learners a second chance to master content and earn credit.

“There’s nothing magical about our methods and no shortcuts to our success,” they said in a recent statement, voicing dismay that at a time of positive momentum, the school system was “again a casualty of unfair, ugly scrutiny.”

The credit recovery program in Prince George’s, expanded and standardized two to three years ago, is one focus of scrutiny. Some students may do “packets” of work aligned to their course that can provide extra points on a quarter grade. Another option involves lessons that are largely online, said special projects officer Janice Briscoe.

Maxwell has said that a majority of Maryland school systems have credit recovery programs, and that the district’s efforts intend to provide students “multiple pathways” to succeeding in school.

At DuVal High School, a recent email The Post obtained shows that 14 days before graduation this year, more than 140 seniors still needed “one last intervention.”

“If there is any last minute, (rub a genie in a bottle), assistance you can help our future scholars, please assist, (yes, one more time)!” a counselor wrote.

Some saw the email as a sign of pressure to alter grades.

A school district spokeswoman said the email was sent by a member of DuVal’s staff, intending to make sure credit recovery options had been offered to students.

Some parents have voiced concerns, too.

Vida Kelly of Lanham, a DuVal mother, said it’s important that students do the work and come away with a solid education.

“Something is going on, and our kids are on the losing end,” she said. “My prayer is that with all of this exposure, it changes things for the betterment of our children. They’re there to learn, not to just be given grades and pushed along.”

Via Washington Post


Maryland State Board of Education voted to have a Third party to investigate allegations of grade fixing at county schools