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Statutes Text

Article - General Provisions




§5–502.

    (a)    This section does not apply to members of the General Assembly.

    (b)    Except as provided in subsections (c) and (d) of this section, an official or employee may not:

        (1)    be employed by or have a financial interest in:

            (i)    an entity subject to the authority of that official or employee or of the governmental unit with which the official or employee is affiliated; or

            (ii)    an entity that is negotiating or has entered a contract with that governmental unit or an entity that is a subcontractor on a contract with that governmental unit; or

        (2)    hold any other employment relationship that would impair the impartiality and independent judgment of the official or employee.

    (c)    The prohibitions of subsection (b) of this section do not apply:

        (1)    to employment or a financial interest allowed by regulation of the Ethics Commission if:

            (i)    the employment does not create a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest; or

            (ii)    the financial interest is disclosed;

        (2)    to a public official who is appointed to a regulatory or licensing unit in accordance with a statutory requirement that entities subject to the jurisdiction of the unit be represented in appointments to it;

        (3)    as allowed by regulations adopted by the Ethics Commission, to an employee whose government duties are ministerial, if the private employment or financial interest does not create a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest; or

        (4)    to a member of a board who holds the employment or financial interest when appointed if the employment or financial interest is disclosed publicly to the appointing authority, the Ethics Commission, and, if applicable, the Senate of Maryland before Senate confirmation.

    (d)    (1)    Subject to paragraph (2) of this subsection, the Ethics Commission may exempt a public official of an executive unit or an employee of an executive unit from the prohibitions of subsection (b) of this section if the Ethics Commission determines that:

            (i)    failure to grant the exemption would limit the ability of the State to:

                1.    recruit and hire highly qualified or uniquely qualified professionals for public service; or

                2.    assure the availability of competent services to the public; and

            (ii)    the number of exemptions granted under this subsection has not eroded the purposes of subsection (b) of this section or other provisions of this title.

        (2)    (i)    The Ethics Commission may grant an exemption under paragraph (1) of this subsection only:

                1.    in extraordinary situations; and

                2.    on the recommendation of the Governor, at the request of the executive unit involved.

            (ii)    The Ethics Commission shall apply this subsection as consistently as possible under similar facts and circumstances.

    (e)    (1)    The Ethics Commission shall make freely available on the Internet documentation of a disclosure under subsection (c)(4) of this section that is submitted to the Ethics Commission on or after January 1, 2019.

        (2)    An appointing authority shall promptly transmit a copy of a disclosure statement submitted to the appointing authority under subsection (c)(4) of this section to the Ethics Commission.

    (f)    (1)    Notwithstanding §§ 5–301 and 5–303 of this title, if the Ethics Commission authorizes, by regulation, employment or a financial interest under subsection (c) of this section by the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Treasurer, or Comptroller, the Ethics Commission shall:

            (i)    promptly notify the Joint Ethics Committee; and

            (ii)    except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, provide the Joint Ethics Committee a copy of any agreement or memorandum of understanding between the Ethics Commission and the State official or other summary of Ethics Commission advice associated with the exception.

        (2)    The Ethics Commission is not required to provide the Joint Ethics Committee with internal deliberative documents that the staff of the Ethics Commission provided to the Ethics Commission.



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