The Maryland General Assembly ethics committee recommended a public reprimand for Baltimore County Del. Jay Jalisi for what they described as an “ongoing pattern of bullying and abusive workplace behavior.”
Jalisi denied the accusations in a statement. You can read his statement in full below.
“Since getting elected to the Maryland General Assembly in 2014 I have spent thousands of hours in the service of my constituents, and I am proud of this record. Sadly, over the past few months I have been the target of a nasty smear campaign and a sham investigation by a powerful lobby in Annapolis; this culminated today in the form of a report from the Ethics Committee seeking to reprimand me. During this time I, through counsel, requested multiple times to be provided with an opportunity to be heard, and be provided with copies of any complaints against me, but I was never afforded this opportunity and my due process rights were consistently violated. I was provided with copies of the allegations on Friday, March 22nd, and the hearing with the Ethics Committee was held the following day. My attorneys repeatedly pointed out the faults in this process and the failure of the Committee to give us time to investigate the allegations. Interestingly, on Friday, March 22nd, all the Delegates were instructed by the Speaker Pro Tem and the House Majority Leader to come an hour early for the session on Monday, March 25th, where they were then handed copies of the printed report. It almost seems that the Ethics Committee report was written even before the Committee hearing!
While I respect the Maryland General Assembly and am honored to have been re-elected as its member for a second term, it makes no sense for the Ethics Committee to defund my staff's payroll as a panacea to protect them from my alleged behavior. How does not paying my staff help them, or anyone?!!
It should be noted that Maryland Assembly has a long standing precedence that even when a member has been reprimanded or censured by it their staff still gets paid - this has included even those under federal indictment for criminal activities. Senator Nathaniel Oaks, Delegates Michael Vaughn, Don Dwyer, Dan Morhaim, all had paid staff until their terms ended or they resigned. Most recently, Delegate Mary Ann Lisanti was censured but has paid staff.
It needs to be mentioned that no complaint came from my personal staff who have worked for me day-in and day-out for months and years. They were given an unfortunate choice by the MGA HR Manager to continue working for me and lose their jobs, or agree to transfer to someone else - and each one of them opted to keep working for my office and got terminated without written notice. If the allegations of verbal abuse were true, my staff should have been the first ones to agree to move to another position and keep their jobs. Since January 2019 they have not been paid.
I am hopeful that my constituents will continue to stand with me and not be swayed by this political hit job!”