By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun
11:01 AM EDT, May 3, 2012
State Sen. Rob Garagiola, a Democrat from Germantown, has been sent a letter of reprimand from a state ethics committee for failing to disclose income he received as a lobbyist on state disclosure forms.
The committee said in a letter it will take no further action on the issue.
Questions about the 2001-2003 disclosure forms surfaced as Garagiola ran for the Democratic nomination in Maryland’s 6th Congressional District this year. The issue became a frequent point of attack for his leading opponent, John Delaney, who raised the issue in campaign advertisements.
Delaney ultimately won the April 3 election.
A Potomac attorney not involved with either campaign filed a formal complaint with the Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics in late March.
"The Joint Committee concluded that the matters alleged constituted a violation of the above-referenced statues and has sent the senator a letter of reprimand," the committee wrote in an April 23 letter. The committee co-chairs said Garagiola filed a separate form shortly after taking office in 2003 that noted his employment at the firm, which they called "a partially mitigating element."
Garagiola also filed an amended disclosure report after Delaney's campaign raised the issue.
The committee determined that "further proceedings are not justified at this time because the violations have been cured."
The ethics complaint was filed by Randa Fahmy Hudome, a former associate deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy who was appointed by Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. to the Maryland Commission for Women. Hudome previously told The Sun she learned of the issue from one of Delaney's radio ads.
Garagiola did not disclose his employment as a lobbying on the state form, but the information was disclosed elsewhere. His name appears on lobbying disclosure forms filed with the U.S. House and Senate that are available online, as required by law. Garagiola also listed the law firm as his employer in a voter's guide published in The Washington Post when he ran for the General Assembly in 2002.
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