“Corruption and Good Governance” in the County.

Vote “No” to Question J and H

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Mr. Rushern Baker –The current County Executive for Prince George’s County is known not to be a man of his word according to Prince George’s County NAACP Chapter and is deeply involved in the scandal comprising Dr. kevin Maxwell .

It never hurts when a company’s founder wins the Nobel prize for the product it makes or a leader who has shown extra-ordinary qualities in times of difficulties. However, news reports that, CEO Maxwell of Prince George’s County received an award for environmental conservation when no one has ever seen him advocate for such in Prince George’s County is a questionable exercise. Could it be this is a decoy for after we published an expose for hiring Mr. Christian Rhodes recently? We will let you be the judge.

Prince George’s County needs sustained reporting on malfeasance in public life. The continuous reporting has resulted in the ouster of corrupt officials and raised public awareness on the need for reform. If there has to be an award to the county’s CEO Maxwell, it needs to be an award for his promotion of hostile work environment. >> Read more Dr. Kevin Maxwell takes a bizarre turn! 

Elements of a Hostile Work Environment Claim

Determining harassment or discrimination is fact-specific and the elements that must be established depend on the type alleged. In general, to establish that a person has been harassed or discriminated against under Maryland Law Against Discrimination, that person must show the following five elements to establish a hostile work environment claim:

(1) They are a qualified individual under protected class for example they could have disability;
(2) They were subjected to unwelcome harassment;
(3) The harassment was based on the person’s class or status;
(4) The harassment was sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter a term, condition, or privilege of employment; and
(5) Some factual basis exists to impute liability for the harassment to the employer.

“Reasonable Person Standard”

In addition, to recover on a hostile environment claim, a plaintiff must demonstrate not only that he subjectively perceived his workplace environment as hostile, but also that a reasonable person would so perceive it — that it was objectively hostile. Factors to consider

  • frequency of the discriminatory conduct;
  • its severity;
  • whether it is physically threatening or humiliating, or a mere offensive utterance; and
  • whether it unreasonably interferes with an employee’s work performance.

In Prince George’s county, Dr. Maxwell has failed to address the issues of hostile work environment and his actions speaks volumes in recent months. Claims against Prince George’s County and other employers within are rising, with a majority alleging employees or former employees were subjected to a “hostile work environment” or “hostility in the workplace.”  To any keen observer, this is failed leadership out to squander public cash through the back door.

In an influential essay titled “Leading From Within,” educational writer and consultant Parker Palmer introduces a powerful metaphor to dramatize the distinction between ethical and unethical leadership. According to Palmer, the difference between moral and immoral leaders is as sharp as the contrast between light and darkness, between heaven and hell.

Leadership

A leader is a person who has an unusual degree of power to create the conditions under which other people must live and move and have their being, conditions that can be either as illuminating as heaven or as shadowy as hell. A leader must take special responsibility for what’s going on inside his or her own self, inside his or her consciousness, lest the act of leadership create more harm than good.

Leaders have the power to illuminate the lives of followers or to cover them in darkness. They cast light when they master ethical challenges of leadership. They cast shadows when they (1) abuse power, (2) hoard privileges, (3) mismanage information, (4) act inconsistently, (5) misplace or betray loyalties, and (6) fail to assume responsibilities.

 According to professor Kellerman, bad leaders can be ineffective, unethical, or ineffective and unethical. She identifies seven types of bad leaders:

  1. Incompetent:  These leaders don’t have the motivation or ability to sustain effective action. They may lack emotional or academic intelligence, for example, or be careless, distracted, or sloppy. Some can’t function under stress, and their communication and decisions suffer as a result. Former International Olympic Committee President Juan Antonio Samaranch (1961–2000) is one example of an incompetent leader. Toward the end of his tenure he turned a blind eye to commercialism, drug scandals, and corruption in the Olympic movement.
  2.  Rigid:  Rigid leaders may be competent, but they are unyielding, unable to accept new ideas, new information, or changing conditions. Thabo Mbeki is one such leader. After becoming president of South Africa in 1999, he insisted that HIV did not cause AIDS and withheld antiretroviral drugs from HIV-positive women. These medications would have dramatically cut the transmission of the disease to their babies.
  3. Intemperate:  Intemperate leaders lack self-control and are enabled by followers who don’t want to intervene or can’t. Marion Barry, Jr.’s political career demonstrates intemperate leadership in action. Barry served as mayor of Washington, DC, from 1979 to 1991. He ignored widespread corruption in his administration, perhaps in part because he was busy cheating on his wife and doing drugs. Barry was convicted of possessing crack cocaine and served 6 months in jail. After being released from prison, he was elected to the city council in 1992 and was reelected as mayor in 1994. During his administrations, the district’s schools and public services deteriorated while the murder rate soared.
  4.  Callous: The callous leader is uncaring or unkind, ignoring or downplaying the needs, wants, and wishes of followers. Former hotel magnate Leona Helmsley personifies the callous leader. She earned the title “The Queen of Mean” by screaming at employees and firing them for minor infractions such as having dirty fingernails. Helmsley later served time for tax evasion. (She once quipped, “Only the little people pay taxes.”)
  5.  Corrupt: These leaders and at least some of their followers lie, cheat, and steal. They put self-interest ahead of public interest. Former United Way of America chief William Aramony is an example of this type of leader. Aramony used United Way funds to buy and furnish an apartment for his girlfriend and to pay for vacations. His top financial officers helped him hide his illegal actions. Aramony and his colleagues were convicted on fraud-related charges.
  6. Insular:  The insular leader draws a clear boundary between the welfare of his or her immediate group or organization and outsiders. Former President Bill Clinton behaved in an insular manner when he didn’t intervene in the Rwandan genocide that took the lives of 800,000–1 million people in 1994. He later traveled to Africa to apologize for failing to act even though he had reliable information describing how thousands of Tutsis were being hacked to death by their Hutu neighbors.
  7. Evil: Evil leaders commit atrocities, using their power to inflict severe physical or psychological harm. Foday Sankoh is one example of an evil leader. He started a civil war in Sierra Leone in 1991. His army, which included many boy soldiers, carried out a campaign of rape and murder. The rebels were also known for chopping off the legs, hands, and arms of innocent civilians.

 We know where light is coming from by looking at the shadows.

—Humanities scholar Paul Woodruff

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Dr. Kevin Maxwell seemed like a good fit in the very beginning but has proved himself to be something else. He is clearly being used by Mr. Rushern Baker regime and others for selfish motives including for high salaries at the expense of poor children and for improper influence within PGCPS District. Every time he gets criticized for making mistakes, the county leadership or some other external forces promotes him for some kind of an award to confuse the public everything is ok.  

 The Behaviors and Personal Characteristics of Toxic Leaders

Destructive Behaviors Toxic Qualities
Leaving followers worse off Lack of integrity
Violating human rights Insatiable ambition
Feeding followers’ illusions; creating dependence Enormous egos
Playing to the basest fears and needs of followers Arrogance
Stifling criticism; enforcing compliance Amorality (unable to discern right from wrong)
Misleading followers Avarice (greed)
Subverting ethical organizational structures and processes Reckless disregard for the costs of their actions
Engaging in unethical, illegal, and criminal acts Cowardice (won’t make tough choices)
Building totalitarian regimes Failure to understand problems
Failing to nurture followers, including successors Incompetent in key leadership situations
Setting constituents against one another
Encouraging followers to hate or destroy others
Identifying scapegoats
Making themselves indispensable
Ignoring or promoting incompetence, cronyism, and corruption

SOURCE: Adapted from Lipman-Blumen, J. (2005). The allure of toxic leaders: Why we follow destructive bosses and corrupt politicians—and how we can survive them. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, pp. 19–23.

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Read more >>> Rebranding of Prince George’s through Vote 2014.

>>>Maxwell hires former Baker aide and creates yet another Blunder.

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