Member of Md. Gov. Hogan's advisory board resigns amid college acceptance scandal

A member of an advisory board to Gov. Larry Hogan on Asian Pacific relations has resigned in the spreading college admissions scandal.

A report showed he’d paid well over market value for a home in Massachusetts owned by a Harvard fencing coach prior to his son’s being accepted to college there.


Jie “Jack” Zhao, a wealthy Montgomery County businessman who sat on the Governor’s Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs, resigned after the Boston Globe reported on his purchase of the fencing coach’s home in May 2016.

In the Globe’s report, Zhao is said to have paid Peter Brand, Harvard University’s fencing coach, close to $1 million for a home that had an assessed value of $549,300.


His son was a high school junior at the time and was looking at applying to Harvard “with an eye toward being on the fencing team,” the Globe reported.

Zhao has said that the purchase was an investment and favor for Brand and not an attempt to curry favor, the Globe reported, but Harvard officials have retained outside counsel for an independent investigation.

In a statement, Hogan spokesman Mike Ricci says the governor has accepted Zhao’s resignation from the commission as of Thursday.

“Governor Hogan expects every member of this administration to maintain the highest ethical standards, and will certainly hold accountable those who fail to do so,” Ricci wrote.