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Accountabilityby Mark Reutter9:38 amDec 11, 20230

National watchdog group calls on Baltimore County Council to reject Jones’ amendments

The changes proposed by Council Chair Julian Jones would undermine Kelly Madigan’s work and go against the recommendations of a blue ribbon panel, the Association of Inspectors General says

Above: Baltimore County’s Inspector General Kelly Madigan. (Mark Reutter)

The association representing inspectors general nationwide today took the unusual step of denouncing amendments proposed by Baltimore County Council Chair Julian E. Jones Jr., saying they serve no purpose but to “undermine” and “restrict” Kelly Madigan, the county’s inspector general.

Noting that a blue ribbon commission had spent over a year crafting plans to enhance the powers of Madigan’s office to undercover waste, fraud and abuse in county government, the Association of Inspectors General said Jones’ amendments would upend the county’s “progress towards the creation of a truly independent office of the inspector general.”

“The AIG calls on the Baltimore County Council to reject Council Chair Jones’ amendments to Bills 83-23 and 84-23,” the group, which represents 2,000 federal, state and local government watchdog offices, said in a statement released from its New York headquarters.

The statement follows Jones’ attempt last Monday to slip unpublicized and unvetted changes into inspector general bills up for a final vote at the Council.

Shortly before the scheduled vote, The Brew disclosed the secret amendments, which Jones had sent to fellow Council members the day before on his private email account.

Exclusive: Julian Jones plans to propose amendments tonight to strip away the power of Baltimore County’s inspector general (12/4/23)

Following a midnight drop of amendments to hobble Baltimore County’s inspector general, Julian Jones sought a private meeting about them (12/6/23)

Text of Julian Jones’ Inspector General amendments (12/6/23)

The amendments would prevent Madigan’s office from subpoenaing the records of vendors and contractors that do business with the county and would subject her investigations and draft reports to review and approval from an advisory board controlled by county officials.

“They would effectively undermine the well-supported findings of the commission and restrict the Office of the Inspector General’s ability to perform its work in an effective and independent manner,” said AIG President Will Fletcher, the inspector general for the Chicago Board of Education.

Madigan told The Brew that she was never informed by Jones of the amendments he planned to introduce.

The Council is scheduled to hold a work session tomorrow (December 12) at 4 p.m. to review  the amendments and vote on the bills at its next meeting on December 18. Tomorrow’s work session is open to the public.

Statement by the AIG

AIG press release on Jones amends

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