Try digitalPLUS for 10 days for only $0.99


News Opinion

Baltimore's ethical fantasyland

Please, can I have a cushy municipal job paying $94,000 a year with no oversight of that position and also be able to have plenty of extra time to do additional private work on the side? Well, maybe so. Baltimore City is paying someone to do just that, and the beneficiary is Avery Aisenstark ("Ethics board gone AWOL,"? Nov. 13).

Get this: The city hired Mr. Aisenstark to provide advice on ethical matters, like whether city officials can accept gifts from developers. The city also created a seven-member Board of Legislative Reference to oversee the activities of Mr. Aisenstark. Wait a second, the board hasn't met in over six years, and possibly, has never convened to discuss Mr. Aisenstark's 15-year performance in office.

Now Mr. Aisenstark is coming under fire for a possible conflict of interest relating to his private work done on behalf of the Committee for Zoning Integrity. Will the board weigh in on Mr. Aisenstark's actions? Apparently not. If you can believe it, the board and its seven members, as described in the Baltimore City Charter, are not even aware of the board's existence. It doesn't get much better than this.

Morton D. Marcus, Baltimore

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Common Cause questions city ethics director's fitness for job

    Ethics director doing legal work for developers with business interests in Baltimore

  • City ethics adviser needs to be fired

    I suggest that Comptroller Joan Pratt, City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake have a talk with their appointed members on the Ethics Board and ask them to vote for termination of Avery Aisenstark for his disregard of the requirements of his office that...

  • Ethics board closes session without publicly discussing probe into mayor's tickets

    Free tickets policy dates back to Schmoke administration

  • A misguided protest

    A misguided protest

    Commuters driving into Baltimore from the south today were understandably chagrined to find themselves stuck in unusually heavy traffic that extended from the beltway all the way into downtown. The cause? A demonstration led by the Rev. Jamal Bryant that blocked the city's major arteries in protest...

  • Silencing the victim

    Silencing the victim

    Here is the actual state of affairs when it comes to police-community relations in Baltimore: The death of Freddie Gray brought to the surface years of pent-up frustrations by many city residents about how they are treated by Baltimore police officers, resulting in weeks of protests and two nights...

  • Educators call for an end to PARCC testing

    Educators call for an end to PARCC testing

    While a modest reduction in the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) testing hours, announced last week, is a step in the right direction, it does not go far enough to address the many problems of the new online, high-stakes standardized assessment.