Tag Archives: Politics:

State lawmakers from Prince George’s seek broad probe of graduation rates

IMG_0158Members of the Prince George’s County’s legislative delegation joined the call Thursday for a state investigation into charges that county school officials doctored grades to increase promotion and graduation rates.

In a letter dated Thursday, the delegates called upon state Superintendent of Schools Karen B. Salmon to examine the claims. The letter was signed by Dels. Jerry Walker and Geraldine Valentino-Smith, a Bowie resident and vice chairwoman of the delegation.

The claims were made by four members of the county school board, including David Murray and Raaheela Ahmed of Bowie.

“Given that the Maryland State Department of Education has oversight over public school districts in Maryland and the educational interests of the State, we respectfully request the resources of the Maryland State Department Education for purposes of an in-depth audit and further investigation of such serious allegations,” the delegates wrote.

The allegations of grade tampering came to light this week when county schools CEO Kevin Maxwell revealed that four school board sent a letter to Gov. Larry Hogan, asking him to conduct an investigation into possible irregularities. He dismissed the claims as “politically motivated” and revealed that a similar probe conducted last fall turned up no evidence of grade-tampering. However, Dr. Maxwell has refused to sit down with reporters as such fox for on camera interview despite repeated requests.

At a jam-packed and often heated school board meeting Thursday night, during which the $1.9 billion school budget was passed, Maxwell repeated his defense of the school system.

“The false allegations about our graduation rates strike at everything that Prince George’s schools stand for – past, present and future,” Maxwell said. “These allegations denigrate why teachers teach and why principals lead. They are a personal attack on every teacher, counselor administrator and employee in this system.”

In their letter, the delegates said the state probe of anonymous allegations last fall did not go far enough because the school personnel interviewed in that investigation were selected by Maxwell.

“It has come to our attention that a high level of concern exists for those schools that experienced a significant change in graduation rate or that have a significant disparity between graduation rates and the performance of students on high school standardized tests,” delegates wrote. “We are also aware that the local change in grading policy may be causing both confusion and disagreement among teachers and parents and this issue could certainly be clarified through a careful MSDE review.”

County officials adopt slightly increased budget for FY 2018
The other nine school board members and a group of county high school principals released statements this week denying the charges and supporting Maxwell.

But Ahmed and Murray stood by their claims, saying Thursday they’d heard and seen enough evidence from system employees to indicate that something was amiss with the grading system. Hogan’s office has forwarded the letter to state education officials.

“There was enough information that I had received – testimony, having seen documents – that there convinced me there was reason for some of these things to be true,” Ahmed said. “I had reason to expect issues – widespread issues.”

Tracie Miller, principal of Gwynn Park High School, was joined by several other high school principals at the board meeting in Upper Marlboro as she spoke out in defense of her colleagues at the meeting.

“We, as high school principals, are extremely offended about the allegations and hurtful accusations that we pressure teachers to to give students grades in order to (increase) the graduation rate,” she said. Such claims, she added, “stain all of us.”

Many parents have come forward with information that their children grades appear suspicious after receiving an A in their report card. Other students who skipped school for many days got A’s and B’s as part of their grades in a shocking revelation to make the adminstration look good.

image

***

Maryland school official responds to fraud allegations in graduation rates

carraway0211_31455151025-0229

Prince George’s County schools Chief Executive Kevin M. Maxwell, in front, is shown in a file photo. (Mark Gail/For The Washington Post)

Four members of Prince George’s County’s school board have urged Gov. Larry Hogan to order an investigation into what they allege is a systemic effort to fraudulently boost graduation rates in the Maryland school district.

The members, a minority bloc on a 14-member board, say the state’s second-largest district engaged in “widespread systemic corruption” that has inflated graduation rates since 2014. They allege that grades were changed and that students were credited for courses they did not take.

“Whistleblowers at almost ­every level in [Prince George’s County Public Schools] have clear and convincing evidence that PGCPS has graduated hundreds of students who did not meet the Maryland State Department of Education graduation requirements,” the four said in a letter.

The accusations drew a strong reaction from other school board members and senior school system officials.

School district officials said Monday afternoon that the state had investigated the system’s graduation rates several months ago. The state did so at the request of the federal Education Department, which got an anonymous complaint last summer.

Investigators found nothing improper, district officials said, providing a state letter discussing the result of the examination, which included several hours of interviews with five people who work in the school system. The school officials also released a federal response saying the matter was closed.

“We already feel this situation was thoroughly investigated and . . . the allegations were unfounded,” Deputy Superintendent Monique Davis said Monday.

The board members who wrote the letter, dated May 30, are Edward Burroughs III (District 8), David Murray (District 1), Raaheela Ahmed (District 5) and student member Juwan Blocker. Burroughs, who provided the first signature on the letter, is a frequent critic of Kevin Maxwell, the school system’s chief executive.

The letter noted that Maxwell started as the top leader of the 132,000-student system in summer 2013 and that he has touted graduation rate improvements as a significant achievement.

Maxwell, who was appointed to a second four-year term this year by County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D), issued a statement that called the letter “politically motivated” and welcomed state education officials to “fully explore” the matter.

“These claims are an affront to the hard work of our teachers, administrators, students and parents over the last few years,” he said. “I categorically deny any systemic effort to promote students who did not meet state graduation requirements.”

State data shows that four-year graduation rates in Prince George’s have improved from 74.1 percent for the class of 2013 to 81.4 percent for the class of 2016. That jump was the largest for that time period of any school system in the state, data shows.

Even so, the county’s rate lagged behind the statewide rate (87.6 percent) and the rate in any other Maryland school system except the city of Baltimore’s.

Prince George’s officials attributed their gains to increasing expectations and standards since Maxwell arrived and efforts to provide support to students.

Nationally, on-time graduation rates have risen in recent years, and many school systems, especially those that are lower-
performing, have felt pressure to show gains, said Michael Hansen, director of the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution.

The letter was first reported Saturday by Fox 5 News. It requested that Hogan (R) order the state’s attorney general and the Maryland State Department of Education to investigate and also asked that documents be seized and a process created so that whistleblowers may come forward without fear of retribution.

A spokeswoman for Hogan called the allegations “very concerning” and said in an email that they had been forwarded to the state education department.

A state Education Department spokeswoman declined to comment Monday.

The letter alleged that whistleblowers have evidence about the ma­nipu­la­tion of student records both before and after graduation.

According to the four board members, the whistleblowers said:

●Courses that students had not taken had been added to their records;

●Grades were changed without teachers’ consent;

●Students received credit for service learning hours that they had not earned. Maryland requires students to amass a certain number of service learning hours for graduation.

“These actions, which alter the much touted student graduation rate, are occurring across the school system leading us to believe that there are accomplices and complicity at the highest levels of the school system,” the letter said.

In a separate letter to county citizens, nine other school board members said Monday they were shocked and dismayed by the allegations and had no knowledge or evidence of systemic corruption to increase graduation results.

They said it was “appalling” that the minority bloc ignored local leadership and chose to “secretly share and distribute information that seeks to belittle the hard work of students, educators and parents.” The school district has monitoring and compliance systems in place, and those who cut corners would face “definitive sanctions,” the nine wrote.

Baker told reporters he had not seen the letter to the governor but had spoken to Maxwell. Baker said any allegations would be taken seriously, but he also commended the district’s success.

“They’ve done a great job in the school system to get the graduation rates up,” he said. “The teachers and principals have worked really hard. And so I know that they are going to look at this seriously. We’re very proud of the work the school system has done and the progress they’ve made.”

Via Washington Post 

princegeorges1

 

***

Democrats in Disarray; Delegate Calls Miller and Zirkin “Democrats in Name Only”

IMG_9557.JPGDemocrats have fallen into complete disarray as they’re now turning fire on each other. More than a dozen House Democrats walked off the floor today and held a press conference outside of the State House to fight for the “Maryland Trust Act” also known as the Sanctuary State Bill.

Delegate Joseline Pena-Melynk (District 21, Prince George’s County) went after Senator Bobby Zirkin (District 11, Baltimore County) and Senate President Mike Miller (District 27, Southern Maryland). This is a clear case of mainstream Democrats looking for bipartisan solutions by listening to the people being taken hostage by an increasing number of extremists in their party.

She said, “Senator Bobby Zirkin is a DINO, a Democrat in Name Only. As 2018 approaches, people you are going to hear us tonight in the news. Who lives in his district? Shame him. We don’t need a Democrat like that. We need someone who is going to protect everyone. Who’s not going to compromise. How can you not be a true Democrat? You killed the bill. Shame on you and I hope your district takes you out.”

“Senator Miller, this is a priority for the Democrats…Did we need an issue like this, absolutely so the people know what we stand for. Act like a Democrat. We don’t need anyone who’s not a true Democrat. These people behind me have a spine and not everyone can say that.”

It’s unfortunate that extremist Democrats have held reasonable ones hostage because they listened to their districts. When Senate President Miller looks like the most reasonable person in the room, how extremist are the Maryland Democratic Party now?

IMG_9556.JPG

Maryland’s Senate president said a bill that added protections for people in the United States illegally won’t pass the Senate in its current form. 

You can watch the whole video here: https://www.facebook.com/bpsears/videos/10154449969122286/

maryland-map

***

1 Arrested After Student Stabbed at Maryland High School

C7YQOjIUwAA4_KFTEMPLE HILLS, MD.- A student was stabbed during class at Crossland High School in Temple Hills Monday morning, Prince George’s County police said.

Police said the victim was stabbed after a verbal argument turned violent with 18-year-old Nathaniel Coates. The stabbing occurred during a class that was happening outside on campus.

Officers arrested Coates and recovered the weapon. Police said Coates is a former student.

According to authorities, the victim has been taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Crossland High School was not put on lockdown since everything happened within a short time frame.

See more >>> NBC4

princegeorges1***

Structure of the PGCPS board of education debated by members

rushernsegunkevin-1050x722By YASMINE ASKARI

Members revisited the conversation of Prince George’s County Schools Board of Education’s hybrid structure during its work session last Thursday. The discussion first focused on reasons to oppose an amendment that would change the board’s ability to override the recommendation of the county’s school CEO and then shifted into a discussion of the accountability of appointed officials.

The current 14-member board is a hybrid of four appointed officials, nine elected and one student member, with both the current chairman of the board and the vice chairman of the board appointed officials.

At Thursday’s session, board members were presented with an amendment that would change the supermajority vote requirement to override the CEO’s recommendation from a two thirds vote amongst board members to a three-fifths vote.

Curtis Valentine, a member of a board subcommittee, recommended the board oppose the amendment based on the committee’s understanding that there will be a review of legislation in the coming year that will allow board members and the community to comment on every aspect of legislation related to the board’s hybrid structure and not just the three specific changes.

While the board Chairman Segun Eubanks was quick to point out the board’s tendency to vote unilaterally and dub the current hybrid structure “one of the most important and profound school governance experiments in the nation” he was quickly rebutted by board member Edward Burroughs III.

Burroughs contended that the voting rule had made a difference.

“Last year, [board member Beverly] Anderson chaired the budget committee and worked with the administration for a long time on the budget. And we had a vote to put math and reading specialists at the bottom 25 of our schools and we got eight votes. That failed by one vote,” Burroughs said. “If it was three fifths, those students today would have math and reading intervention that they desperately need. So that makes a difference to me. I don’t care about process and waiting for a report. Those kids needed that service right there and then, immediately.”

He then shifted the conversation to critique Eubanks praise of the board’s structure.

“When we talk about this being this world renowned structure, I disagree,” Burroughs said and pointed out that chair of the board Eubanks familial relationship with County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) is a problem.

“When the county executive determines to appoint his former brother-in-law to chair of the board, that is a problem. That is not democracy, that is not good for the system, that is not good for checks and balances,” Burroughs said. “And it makes a difference. When you have non-elected board members, and four appointed board members, and we are being told that we cannot elect our own leadership, that’s crazy.”

Burroughs went on to critique both the board chairman and vice chairwoman’s management of the Head Start program.

“If you look at Head Start, we were not able to hold our board chair and vice chair accountable for their actions or misactions on behalf of those kids because of this structure. It means something to me that all four labor unions are agreeing on this. There’s a reason they all support this.”

Burroughs was hastily thanked for his comments by Eubanks who proceeded to defend himself.

“I’ve been an educational professional for 35 years. I’ve read more books in education than some folks around here have read any books about any subjects in their entire lives. I have committed my life to social justice and I don’t care who I’m related to, or was related to, or was ever related to, I am one of the most qualified educators in this county, and in this state, and in this country,” Eubanks said. “I will stand by records. I will hold up against anybody on this board or anywhere else.”

It was somewhat of an abrupt turn from a work session that started with discussion on legislation, but other members began to voice their views, including Anderson and student board member Juwan Blocker.

While the board ruled to oppose the amendment, the conversation on the board’s hybrid structure was barely settled.

“This hybrid board has covered up a lot of nepotism in Prince George’s County,” Blocker said. “We need to be the ones who decide our leadership.”

Via The Enquirer Gazette

cqkyduwueaajvi9.jpg

Board member Juwan Blocker – “This hybrid board has covered up a lot of nepotism in Prince George’s County,” Blocker said. “We need to be the ones who decide our leadership.”

Burroughs

Board member Edward Burroughs III.

 

image

***

Prince George’s County schools cancelled due to A Day Without Women

20f11d23-006c-4c46-a706-3e0f8082ee08-large16x9_1280x720_60502C00UEDEV.jpgBy YASMINE ASKARI

Prince George’s County Public Schools were closed last Wednesday in a last-minute decision due to a high number of teachers and staff members taking the day off for the Day Without a Woman protest.

“Throughout Prince George’s County Public Schools, a high number of school-based and support staff have requested leave for Wednesday, March 8. As of 5:30 p.m., approximately 1,700 teachers and 30 percent of transportation staff have requested leave. We cannot transport students and provide safe, productive learning environments without adequate staff,” Schools CEO Kevin Maxwell said in a statement. “As a result, schools will be closed tomorrow for students. We apologize for the inconvenience this will surely cause to many families.”

The day-long strike, which coincided with International Woman’s Day, was organized by the Women’s March on Washington. Following the lead of the “Bodega strike” in New York City by Yemini store owners and the Day Without Immigrants, the strike intended to highlight the importance of women in the workforce and as consumers.

“This was not a union led effort,” said Theresa Dudley, president of Prince George’s County’s largest teacher union, the Prince George’s County Educator Association. “I was just as surprised as everyone else when they closed school for the children.”

Most teachers were reluctant to come forth on whether they took the day off for the protest due to the county’s stance on stating political views. Despite this, Dudley disclosed that many teachers went to the rally in Washington in representation of Prince George’s County educators.

While some parents on social media expressed disappointment about the short notice, parent organizations such as Reform PGCPS were more supportive.

“The timing of the cancellation was surprising and appeared a last minute resort, however, given the high rate of projected staff absences, the system did not have much choice,” the group said in an email.

“Our organization recognizes the importance and impact of such an event and is supportive of the cause. There is of course the question of the timing of the event during the workweek, scheduling it during the weekend might have allowed more women to participate without having to lose wages,” the group stated.

Other parents on social media noted that while schools had been closed, the school lunch program was still running for underprivileged children.

“Great job PGCPS in recognizing our community needs and much respect for using this platform to inform all,” one parent said on Facebook.

Prince George’s County was one of three large school districts to cancel classes due to the protest. Alexandria City Public Schools in Virginia and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools in North Carolina also cancelled classes due to the high number of staff taking leave.

The Enquirer Gazette

princegeorges1

***

Maryland House moves to curb suspensions, expulsions of young pupils

md_general_assemblyThe House of Delegates approved legislation Thursday that would significantly curb the practice of suspending or expelling the youngest public school students without first taking other steps to improve their behavior.

The measure now goes to the state Senate, where a committee approved a similar bill Thursday.

Delegates voted 91-48 for the House measure, which bars the suspension or expulsion of prekindergarten, kindergarten, first and second grades students except in narrow circumstances — such as bringing a gun to school.

Students could be suspended for up to nine days in the House version — five in the Senate’s — only if a mental health professional determines there is an “imminent threat of serious harm to other students or staff” that can’t be addressed another way.

The legislation directs that schools provide “intervention and support” for students who are suspended or expelled instead of merely sending them home.

Del. Brooke E. Lierman, the House sponsor, said she’s happy with the bill as amended.

“The bill still sends a strong message to the schools and the Maryland State Department of Education that the General Assembly does not think it is appropriate to suspend or expel our youngest learners,” the Baltimore Democrat said.

If the Maryland State Senate passes its bill as the committee amended it, the two chambers will have to resolve their differences before the bill becomes law.marylandmap2

***

Tension high as HB1565 leaves Prince George’s County delegation

17203251_1217231075059854_5951759071073531001_nThe tension has been high as HB1565 finally left the Prince George’s County delegation in a version which does not fix  nor address the most critical issues it was meant to address on March 10th, 2017.

According to the people in the meeting, the raucous meeting among the Education delegation for Prince George’s county revealed more internal turmoil in a political committee struggling to preserve its independence amid pressure from party leaders to rally behind such causes as extending term limits and endorsement of the central office staff at the expense of many in Prince George’s County public schools.

First, Delegate Howard who sabotaged the bill HB1565 from the very beginning saw her amendments rejected by the committee. The only amendment considered by the committee was from Delegate Walker and Delegate Geraldine Valentino-Smith. From our understanding Delegate Walker wants the Vice Chair elected by the elected Board members at Sasscer administrative building. Some on the committee do not support these initiatives, and others think the committee should not take a position until next year since the law was only passed recently.

Delegate Geraldine Valentino-Smith wants the evaluation of the performance of the entire system conducted on or around October 1st, from December 31st. The bill now goes to the ways and means committee where it is expected to pass but there are no guarantees. From there the bill is expected to go to full house as a Prince George’s delegation bill before crossing over to the senate side where it may die or survive. If it survives, there might be more amendments before sending it back to the house. Time will tell what happens from here. But it does not smell good based on the people we spoke with in Annapolis.

The fissures come at a critical time for Maryland Democrats. Party committees across the state are supposed to be mobilizing to help elect a new Governor and leaders with credibility who are expected to challenge Governor Larry Hogan.  And the Prince George’s delegation in collaboration with the Democratic central committee is supposed to help instruct the county’s more than 427,000 registered Democrats on how they should vote and lead the way. However, with corruption high, citizenry of the county have a lot to worry about.

County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D), an unapologetic critic of term limits, is suspected to be behind the scenes with others in giving wrong advise to the Delegation in Annapolis so that the status quo stays at the expense of the Children of Prince Georges County. This is not how democracy is supposed to work. In 2014, Mr. Baker asked the Democratic central committee not only to include the sample ballot sent to Democratic voters but also to go a step further and recommend a “yes” vote. This move promoted corruption which continues to date!

princegeorges1***

The People Who Die to Make Your Cell Phone

With a population of at least 67 million, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is one of the poorest countries in the world. In 2014, the World Bank ranked it second to last on the Human Development Index.

Despite the DRC’s poverty level, there is one thing that it has in abundance – cobalt. Cobalt is a mineral used to make lithium ion batteries that Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, Sony, Dell, and many other companies use in their devices.

According to experts, more than half of the world’s supply of cobalt comes from the DRC, with 20 percent of it from what are called “artisanal mines.” For many Congolese people, mining cobalt is the only way to feed their families. Unfortunately, artisanal mines are smaller, independent mines, where an industrial-sized operation is not an option. These mines are unregulated and are not a part of the country’s Mining Code and Regulations, this means they are often unauthorized and extremely dangerous.

As a result, the workers are subjected to dangerous conditions that include poor ventilation, lack of protective gear, and frequent accidents—many of which prove deadly. But it’s not just adults that are risking their lives. The United Nations says there are at least 40,000 children in the DRC working in these artisanal mines. Working in high temperatures, rain, and storms, children as young as 7-years-old carry sacks of mineral ore that are sometimes heavier than themselves. Most of these children’s parents can’t afford to send them to school. The few that are able to send their kids to school must have their children work at the mines on the weekends to help support the family. Many suffer from breathing problems, others from sickness and disease. At least half reported being beaten for not working fast enough.

Some of the possible long-term effects the children suffer from include joint and bone deformities, respiratory issues, and musculoskeletal injuries. Most complained of excruciating back and hip pain, others of chronic illness. But beyond the physical risks are less visible dangers. Chronic exposure to cobalt can be fatal, resulting in a condition called “hard metal lung disease.”

Despite the prevalence of studies confirming this, most of these miners work without protective equipment—no gloves, masks, or even work clothes. The workers are not provided safety equipment nor given directions on what to do in a crisis. Without any sort of armor against the hazardous conditions, death is common.

The route of the cobalt from these mines can be followed to a large corporation called Congo Dongfang Mining International (CDM). CDM is a subsidiary of the China-based company Huayou Cobalt, which supplies batteries to the most prestigious tech companies—including Apple, Sony, Samsung, Dell, and more.

Millions of people around the world enjoy the benefits of technologies that use cobalt but few are concerned with how they are made.

Source: 

7-Year-Old Children Mining Cobalt For Apple, Microsoft, & Samsung Products ? – Collective Evolution

Apple buys a key iPhone component from brutal Congolese mines. It’s trying to stop. Time will tell if they follow through on their promises.

IMG_9118

The People Who Die to Make Your Cell Phone – With a population of at least 67 million, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is one of the poorest countries in the world.

***

Former Md. Del. Michael Vaughn charged with selling his vote in bribery scheme

04_Vaughn

Former Maryland State Del. Michael Vaughn (D-Prince George’s)

Former Maryland State Del. Michael Vaughn (D-Prince George’s) has been indicted by a federal grand jury in connection with a wide-ranging bribery scheme and the theft of campaign funds to cover his personal bills.

Federal authorities allege Vaughn received more than $10,000 in cash from liquor store owners in exchange for favorable legislation that would expand liquor sales in Prince George’s County or edge out the competitors of those who paid him.

Vaughn had resigned from the legislature in January after news of the federal probe of the local liquor board broke and resulted in the initial arrest of two liquor store owners, the head liquor board inspector and a member of the commission. Vaughn, who served as a delegate from 2003 to 2017, cited health reasons for his resignation.

A judge allowed Vaughn released on his own personal recognizance during his initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt Wednesday. Vaughn, 59, arrived at the hearing in a dark pinstripe suit and answered “Yes, sir” when the judge asked questions and informed him of his rights. Vaughn was ordered to avoid contact with victims, witnesses and others charged in the case, along with people who contributed to his campaign since 2012.

His attorney declined comment after the hearing.

Vaughn was indicted on eight counts of wire fraud, conspiracy and bribery in connection with actions that occurred during his time in office between 2012 and 2016.

Federal authorities also accuse Vaughn of illegally shifting money donated to his campaign for his personal use, according to a statement from the government. The allegations involve at least $6,000 in funds, the indictment states.

If convicted, Vaughn faces up to 65 years in prison.

In Annapolis, House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) said, “this is a sad day for the Maryland General Assembly. We are sworn to protect the public trust, and if proven, this was an egregious violation of that trust and a violation of criminal law. I’m deeply disappointed that any member of the House would compromise our Democratic process.”

Sen. President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) called the indictment “distressing.”

“It’s before the courts, he’s resigned from the House of Delegates and we’ll just have to see what the courts have to say,” he said.

 In January, four others were arrested in connection with the long-running probe by the FBI: David Dae Sok Son, 40, the director of the liquor board in Prince George’s. Anuj Sud, 39, a county liquor board commissioner who resigned; Young Jung Paig, 62, owner of Central Avenue Restaurant & Liquor Store; and Shin Ja Lee, 55, owner of Palmer Liquor Store.

On the day of their arrests, the FBI raided the county liquor board officers and several locations throughout the county.

Federal authorities allege Son served as a middle man, transferring the cash from liquor store owners Paig and Lee to Vaughn.

The indictment against Vaughn, unsealed late Tuesday, alleges that in one instance, Vaughn met Son, Paig and Lee at a restaurant in Bowie. Afterward, Paig got into Vaughn’s car and handed over $4,000, half of which Vaughn deposited into an ATM immediately after the meeting, the indictment states.

Vaughn also accepted bribes as liquor store owners sought legislation that would limit their competitors, the government alleges.

Vaughn had served in the House of Delegates from January 2003. In addition to being the Deputy Majority Whip, he also served on the Economic Matters Committee, which deals with bills that regulate alcohol, as well as banking, economic development, insurance and utilities. The government said Vaughn boasted that his position on the committee would allow him to help amend or kill proposed liquor legislation.

“At the end of the day, [the committee] has final say so… I’m gonna be checking and double checking. Making sure none of this… slip through,” the indictment states.

Vaughn was born in Tuskegee, Ala. He attended DuVal High School in Prince George’s County before receiving a bachelor’s degree from Southern University in Louisiana.

He also worked in sales for Marriott and Hilton’s Embassy Row Hotel in Washington. Vaughn owns ADDR Properties, a real estate company in Mitchellville, according to Maryland assessment records.

In a related case, former state Del. William A. Campos (D-Prince George’s) pleaded guilty to funneling government money and performing other officials favors to those who paid him bribes and kickbacks during his time as a county council member.

Federal prosecutors would not detail how Campos is directly involved with the liquor-board investigation in which Vaughn and others were charged.

But in charging affidavits,prosecutors said two elected officials started working as informants in the liquor board investigation to avoid harsh sentencing on other corruption charges. One cooperator is described as a former elected official who took a plea agreement and helped federal agents in the case between June 2014 and July 2015, months before Campos resigned from the state legislature.

Several details in Campos’s plea agreement, such as cash totals, conversations, and promised favors, appear to align with the description of an informant in the charges brought against others.

Via Washington Post

IMG_9098.JPG

Former MD state Del. Michael L. Vaughn right, leaves courthouse w/his atty. William Purpura after initial court appearance. @WashInformer

princegeorges1

***