Today in Maryland

Maryland Democrats: GOP Gov. took $200K in illegal donations

ANNAPOLIS (AP) — The Maryland Democratic Party is asking the state board of elections to investigate possible campaign finance violations by Gov. Larry Hogan. An attorney for Hogan's campaign is calling it a "shoddy political hit job."

Democrats say the Republican took donations from 100 benefactors that were over the legal limit. But Chris Ashby, Hogan's attorney, says the complaint is "demonstrably false."

The Democrats' executive director Ben Smith said Hogan's 2018 campaign raked in more than $200,000 in violation of the $6,000 limit per donor. The Washington Post reports Maryland Sen. Clarence Lam noticed the possible violations after Hogan vetoed a bill to strengthen transparency in the governor's appointments office.

Lam told the Democratic Party, which then found the other possible violations.

But Ashby says in a statement that Democratic Party operatives should have taken more time to examine all publicly-available campaign finance reports. Ashby says: "We look forward to the swift dismissal of this sloppy complaint."

Couple suing Ocean City for negligence over tram accident

OCEAN CITY (AP) — A Maryland woman who says a tram dragged her along the Ocean City boardwalk is suing the popular vacation town for negligence.

Mona and Gregory Jones are seeking $75,000 in response to the September 2017 accident.

Court documents state Mona Jones reported a driver lost control of the tram and struck her, knocking her to the ground before dragging her across the boardwalk.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports she was dragged 20-40 feet until passengers screamed for the driver to stop.

The lawsuit says Jones injured her leg and spent over a month in a trauma ward.

Ocean City Solicitor Guy Ayres says it's questionable whether the tram ran into Jones. Ayres says witnesses stated she ran into the tram.

Information from: The Daily Times of Salisbury, Md., http://www.delmarvanow.com/

Agents seize record 333 pounds of cocaine at Baltimore port

BALTIMORE (AP) — Federal law enforcement agents have seized a record 333 pounds of cocaine hidden inside a shipping container full of beach chairs at the Port of Baltimore.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection says in a news release on Tuesday that agents seized the cocaine on June 18, but there have been no arrests in the case. The news release says the beach chairs were headed for an address in Maryland.

In addition to beach chairs, authorities discovered four black bags inside the container which contained a total of 125 bricks of a white-powdery substance that field-tested positive for cocaine.

The agency also said that the seizure tops the approximately 311 pounds (141 kg) of cocaine seized at Baltimore in April 2007.

Hogan directs agencies to save energy in state buildings

ANNAPOLIS (AP) — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is directing two state agencies to develop an initiative to save energy in state-owned buildings.

Hogan signed an executive order on Tuesday for the Maryland Department of General Services and the Maryland Energy Administration.

The administration says the goal of the initiative is to reduce energy consumption in state buildings by 10% by 2029.

To do that, DGS has been assigned to annually audit state-owned buildings that are determined to be the least energy efficient. The audit will identify low-cost measures to increase energy efficiency and savings.

MEA Director Mary Beth Tung says the state spends $210 million annually on utilities for state buildings.

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