If you are leaving your position with Baltimore County Government, here are some things you need to know.
When you are no longer a County employee or member of certain Boards or Commissions, the Public Ethics Law still applies to you in a few important ways. Because you will still be subject to the ethics law, you have the right to consult the Baltimore County Ethics Commission for advice on how these laws apply to you in any given situation. You also have the obligation to comply with these laws and if you do not, you may be subject to an enforcement action by the Ethics Commission.
§7-1-304(b) Representation by Former Public Official
Employees and Covered Volunteers
Generally—A former public official may not assist or represent a party other than the County in a case contract, or other specific matter for compensation if the matter involves County government and:
- The former public official participated significantly in the matter as an employee
- The former public official had information from their employment with the County that was not generally available to the public when the former employee undertook the assistance or representation.”
- Participated significantly—Means direct participation in a matter that involves the County government by a former public official in which the former public official's involvement was or appeared to be significant to a decision, approval or recommendation concerning the County matter
- Participated significantly—Includes the participation of a subordinate of the former public official if the subordinate was actually directed in the County issue by the former public official
- Participated significantly—Is not established by official responsibility (although official responsibility may be a factor in determining the significance of the involvement), knowledge, perfunctory involvement, or involvement on an administrative or peripheral matter.)
If you worked on a matter while you were a County employee or volunteer, you are forever banned from working on that same specific matter (or case or contract) if that matter involves the County. You should ask for advice from the Ethics Commission
- If the work you will be doing involves the same case, contract or other specific matter
- If the information you will be using is or was confidential when you started the assistance or representation
Exception for a former County Executive, County Administrative Officer or head of an office or department of the County government appointed and confirmed in accordance with § 402(d) (9) of the Charter may not assist or represent a party, other than the County or the state, in a case, contract, or other specific matter involving the County government for compensation for a period of one year following the former employee's termination of employment with the County.
Exception for elected officials—Except as provided in subparagraph ii of this paragraph, until the conclusion of one year after the member leaves office, a former elected official may not assist or represent another party for compensation in a matter that is the subject of legislative action by the County Council. ii. The limitation under subparagraph i of this paragraph on representation by a former elected official does not apply to the former elected official's representation of a municipal corporation, County, or state governmental entity.
The above two exceptions applies primarily to prohibit former elected and certain appointed officials from lobbying the County for compensation for one year after leaving office. There may be other instances where the prohibition applies. Even if you will not be lobbying, you may not work as a consultant of any kind on any matter that is going to be the subject of legislative action for one year. Ask the advice of the ethics commission if the work you are doing or plan to be doing may fall within this prohibition.
§7-1-401(e) Financial Disclosure Statements
If you were required to file a Financial Disclosure Statement (FDS) while employed with the County, you are required to file an Exit FDS within 60 days of your last date of employment with the County.