Fire, Gambling, & Ethics (Demo)

District Heights fire leaves 30 residents displaced and an estimated $300,000 in damages.  
House Speaker Busch huddling with his camp on gambling expansion for Prince George’s.
Office of Ethics and Accountability proposed by County Executive.

District Heights FireA terrible fire happened at a 3-story apartment building located at 971 Rochelle Avenue.  Firefighters encountered a well-advanced fire burning on all floors and in the attic.   It took 75 firefighter/medics battled the fire for nearly an hour before the fire could be declared extinguished.  A shelter has been opened at the Central High School for displaced residents; the American Red Cross  and Office of Emergency Management are coordinating efforts to help those who have lost their homes. In all, 22 apartments were destroyed.  
County Executive Baker introduced legislation that allows us to report ethics complaints against county employees and officials.   The legislation creates an Office of Ethics and Accountability.  The office would be headed by an executive officer, which would be appointed by the County Executive.  EEEEEERRRR! That’s the sound of me hitting the breaks.  The County Executive “appoints” the  head of this new office.  Hmmmm…. There are checks and balances, the Gazette reports, including whistleblower protection, a required hearing public before firing the executive director, and the County Council has to approve the  selection of executive director.
Michael E. BuschHouse  Speaker Michael E. Busch confirmed that he and David Cordish, Maryland Live! owner, met on Tuesday.  The meeting was just to “get information,” according to Busch who meets with his leadership team today regarding the likelihood of a special session of the General Assembly to address expanding gambling into Prince George’s County.  “It can’t go on too much longer,” said Del. Derek E. Davis, a Prince George’s County Democrat and chairman of the House Economic Matters Committee.  The Baltimore Sun reports that according to Davis, a decision is likely by Monday because legislators from across Maryland would have to make plans to return to the capital.

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