November 15, 2011
The Baltimore County Republican Central Committee wants County Councilman Kenneth Oliver to return the council salary he earned while he was working for the state in an apparent violation of the county charter.
In a resolution approved Monday night, the committee called on the Randallstown Democrat to give the money back to the county treasury. Oliver worked at the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development from February until a few weeks ago. The charter prohibits council members from working for state and county agencies.
“We have an obligation as a minority party to hold the majority party accountable for its actions,” committee Chairman Steve Kolbe said Tuesday.
Kolbe pointed to a 2008 referendum question that asked residents whether they wanted to change the county charter to let council members work for the state. Voters rejected the referendum.
“We’re talking about an individual who not only breached the county charter, but knew what they were doing was against the will of the people,” Kolbe said.
Council members make $54,000 a year.
Oliver has said he didn’t think he was breaking any rules because he was a contract employee. On Tuesday, he called the GOP’s resolution “part and parcel to politics.”
He pointed to former Councilman Wayne Skinner, who worked for the state tax department during his time on the council. That was before county officials reviewed the charter and discovered the rule, which apparently had been forgotten.
“I’ll return mine when Wayne Skinner returns his for the four years he was on the council,” Oliver said.
The Republican resolution also calls on the council to review all actions it took while Oliver was working for the agency.