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Leopold's Conviction, Pit Bull Legislation, O'Malley's State Of The State Speech, and The Constitutionality Of Handgun Licensing
January 30, 2013
Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold has been found guilty of two of the five charges brought against him. After a bench trial, a judge yesterday convicted Leopold on two misconduct charges, one for having his staff perform campaign tasks and another for having them run personal errands. Leopold was acquitted on two other charges, after the fifth was thrown out last week. A sentencing date could be set by the end of this week. Upon his conviction, Leopold was immediately suspended from office; Chief Administrative Officer John Hammond has taken over as acting County Executive. And Anne Arundel County Council Chair Jerry Walker says that the Council will soon decide on whether to remove Leopold from office permanently; a vote could take place as soon as Monday. WYPR's Joel McCord has a report on the verdict here; there's more here from the Baltimore Sun, here from the Washington Post, here from the Gazette, and here from the Baltimore Business Journal. If Leopold is permanently ousted, the Council will choose a Republican to serve the rest of his term (there's more on possible replacements here from the Baltimore Sun).
It’s been nearly a year since a controversial ruling by Maryland’s highest court labeled pit bulls "inherently dangerous" dogs... and made landlords liable if one of their tenants' pit bulls bit someone. The ruling led to a difficult choice for many pit bull owners -- give up their pets, or face eviction. The General Assembly is now racing to the rescue... but WYPR's Karen Hosler reports that much damage has already been done.
On today's edition of Inside Maryland Politics, WYPR's Fraser Smith talks to former Governor Ehrlich speechwriter Richard Cross III about Governor Martin O'Malley's state of "candidate limbo."
Governor O'Malley will deliver his State of the State speech today, before a joint session of the General Assembly at noon. O'Malley is expected to cover issues including jobs, gun control, the death penalty and wind power; the Washington Post has a preview here; and there's another preview here from the Baltimore Sun.
Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler says that legislation requiring handgun owners to have a license is constitutional. This after one of the bill's sponsors requested an opinion on whether the bill would violate the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Yesterday's legal opinion from Attorney General's office says it wouldn't; the opinion points to a Supreme Court decision saying that states have the authority to limit the right to possess a handgun (via our wire service, the Baltimore Sun, and the Washington Post).
Senator Barbara Mikulski is asking President Obama to forbid federal contractors from retaliating against employees who discuss their salaries (via the Baltimore Sun).
The General Assembly is considering legislation that would double the number of Maryland Department of Natural Resources police officers over the next ten years (via the Daily Times).
The Maryland Department of the Environment will hold a public hearing tonight on plans for a controversial waste-to-energy incinerator in Frederick County. At the meeting, officials will consider whether to approve three permits for the proposed $527-million facility. The meeting starts at 6 tonight; there's more information here from the Frederick News Post.
And in sports: Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis is dismissing a report linking him to a banned substance. According to "Sports Illustrated," Lewis is believed to have used what is known as deer-antler velvet extract to help in his recovery from a torn triceps earlier this season. The deer antler spray reportedly contains IGF-1, a substance banned by the NFL. Lewis says he gives no credence to the story (via our wire service; more here from the Washington Post and here from the Baltimore Sun).
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