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Statutes Text

Article - General Provisions




§5–501.

    (a)    Except as otherwise provided in subsection (c) of this section, an official or employee may not participate in a matter if:

        (1)    the official or employee or a qualifying relative of the official or employee has an interest in the matter and the official or employee knows of the interest; or

        (2)    any of the following is a party to the matter:

            (i)    a business entity in which the official or employee has a direct financial interest of which the official or employee reasonably may be expected to know;

            (ii)    a business entity, including a limited liability company or a limited liability partnership, of which any of the following is an officer, a director, a trustee, a partner, or an employee:

                1.    the official or employee; or

                2.    if known to the official or employee, a qualifying relative of the official or employee;

            (iii)    a business entity with which any of the following has applied for a position, is negotiating employment, or has arranged prospective employment:

                1.    the official or employee; or

                2.    if known to the official or employee, a qualifying relative of the official or employee;

            (iv)    if the contract reasonably could be expected to result in a conflict between the private interest and the official State duties of the official or employee, a business entity that is a party to a contract with:

                1.    the official or employee; or

                2.    if known to the official or employee, a qualifying relative of the official or employee;

            (v)    a business entity, either engaged in a transaction with the State or subject to regulation by the official’s or employee’s governmental unit, in which a direct financial interest is owned by another business entity if the official or employee:

                1.    has a direct financial interest in the other business entity; and

                2.    reasonably may be expected to know of both financial interests; or

            (vi)    a business entity that:

                1.    the official or employee knows is a creditor or an obligee of the official or employee, or of a qualifying relative of the official or employee, with respect to a thing of economic value; and

                2.    as a creditor or an obligee, is in a position to affect directly and substantially the interest of the official, employee, or qualifying relative.

    (a–1)    (1)    This subsection does not apply to an individual who is a public official only as a member of a board and who receives annual compensation that is less than 25% of the lowest annual compensation at State grade level 16.

        (2)    A former regulated lobbyist who is or becomes subject to regulation under this title as a public official or employee may not participate in a case, contract, or other specific matter as a public official or employee for 1 calendar year after the termination of the registration of the former regulated lobbyist if the former regulated lobbyist previously assisted or represented another party for compensation in the matter.

    (b)    (1)    The prohibitions of subsection (a) of this section do not apply if participation is allowed:

            (i)    as to officials and employees subject to the authority of the Ethics Commission, by regulation of the Ethics Commission;

            (ii)    by the opinion of an advisory body; or

            (iii)    by another provision of this subtitle.

        (2)    This section does not prohibit participation by an official or employee that is limited to the exercise of an administrative or ministerial duty that does not affect the decision or disposition with respect to the matter.

    (c)    (1)    An official or employee who otherwise would be disqualified from participation under subsection (a) of this section shall disclose the nature and circumstances of the conflict, and may participate or act, if:

            (i)    the disqualification would leave a body with less than a quorum capable of acting;

            (ii)    the disqualified official or employee is required by law to act; or

            (iii)    the disqualified official or employee is the only individual authorized to act.

        (2)    If the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Treasurer, or Comptroller is required to make a disclosure under paragraph (1) of this subsection, the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Treasurer, or Comptroller, as appropriate, shall send a copy of the disclosure to the presiding officers of the General Assembly and to the Ethics Commission.

    (d)    (1)    This subsection applies only to:

            (i)    the Governor;

            (ii)    the Lieutenant Governor;

            (iii)    the Attorney General;

            (iv)    the Treasurer;

            (v)    the Comptroller; and

            (vi)    a secretary of a principal department in the Executive Branch.

        (2)    (i)    An official who takes executive action that the official knows or reasonably should know would have a material financial impact on the official or a person whose interests are attributable to the official under § 5–608 of this title shall provide the Ethics Commission and the Joint Ethics Committee a description of the executive action and the circumstances of the potential impact.

            (ii)    An official is not required to make a disclosure under this paragraph if the impact is common to all members of:

                1.    the general public or a large class of the general public; or

                2.    a profession or occupation of which the official is a member.



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