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House Speaker makes appointment to University of Maryland Medical System board amid overhaul after scandal

House Speaker makes appointment to University of Maryland Medical System board amid overhaul after scandal
House Speaker Adrienne Jones makes her appointment to University of Maryland Medical System board amid its overhaul after a self-dealing scandal. This file photo shows the system building at the corner of Pratt and Paca streets in Baltimore. (Jerry Jackson / Baltimore Sun)

House of Delegates Speaker Adrienne A. Jones announced her pick Tuesday to join the new University of Maryland Medical System board of directors — part of an effort to reform the troubled board after a self-dealing scandal.

Jones said she selected Thomasina Rogers, a Prince George’s County lawyer with leadership experience in the administrations of presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

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“Thomasina brings a wealth of experience to the University of Maryland Medical System board,” the speaker said. “Her background in implementing and managing complicated personnel systems will bring much needed addition to the expertise of the new board.”

Rogers retired in 2015 after 25 years in the federal government, including serving as chairwoman of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission and chairwoman of the Administrative Conference of the United States, a nonpartisan agency focused on improving efficiency and fairness in government. She also serves as chairwoman of the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission.

In an interview, Rogers said she welcomes the challenge of contributing to overhaul a board rocked by scandal.

“It’s fair to say that my hallmark has been government transparency and accountability,” Rogers said. “I’m delighted to be able to find a spot on the highly talented team being assembled by the governor, speaker and Senate president to help restore credibility to the medical system.”

The board is being reconstituted as a result of a state law passed this year after The Baltimore Sun reported several members — including then-Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh — had lucrative contracts with the system for themselves or their companies.

Pugh, a Democrat, made hundreds of thousands of dollars selling her self-published “Healthy Holly” children’s books to the hospital system. She resigned from her mayoral office in May, and state and federal authorities continue to investigate her business relationships with the hospital system.

Under the law, the Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and Jones, both Democrats, each appoint a board member, while Gov. Larry Hogan appoints the rest of the 23-member board.

Hogan, a Republican, has named 11 board members and he’s expected to make more appointments by the end of the year.

Miller selected former Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker, a Democrat, to join the board.

The state Senate must confirm the governor’s appointees when the General Assembly reconvenes in January.

A seat on the board is an unpaid position, but comes with significant responsibility: helping to run a hospital network with more than a dozen facilities that bring in more than $4 billion in annual revenues.

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