POLITICS

Maryland pension bill and corrupt politicians

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Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold was convicted just last week of misconduct and he will still get a pension check from taxpayers - $30,000 a year for the rest of his life.

AP Photo

Jack Johnson, former Prince George's County Executive, will continue to get his pension - $50,000 a year, even though he's in federal prison for extortion and bribery. Remember the wiretap that caught him telling his wife to hide $80,000 in cash in her underwear?

And former Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon who stole gift cards for needy children - she gets $83,000 a year.

Republican delegate Ron George tried last year to pass a law stripping elected officials of their pension if convicted of committing a felony while in office, but his colleagues would not go for it.

"I guess they want to protect each other,” said Del. George. “I don't know what it is. I don't get it."

The Maryland bill stalled in the committee chaired by Senator Edward Kasemeyer. When ABC7 questioned Kasemeyer about the bill, he said he didn’t remember it. But that bill hit very close to home. At the time, Prince George's County Senator Ulysses Currie was under federal investigation on corruption charges. Though Currie was eventually cleared, he was on Kasemeyer's committee that let the pension bill die

Delegate George is pushing the pension bill again this session, but says the only way to get his colleagues to even consider it was to drastically soften it. His bill now would only create a task force to *simply study the issue* of convicted elected officials and their pensions.

Virginia lawmakers on the other hand passed their own law last year preventing convicted officials from collecting their state pensions.

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