Local Voices by Bryan P. Sears
Posted on August 25, 2011 at 12:10pm
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Bruce Bereano and Mike Day were political lepers in Baltimore County last August.
But the lobbyist and union leader were welcomed back to the county fold last week during the county’s reception in Ocean City during the Maryland Association of Counties conference.
Bereano, standing outside the room at the Clarion Resort Fountainebleau Hotel, said he was invited personally by Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. The executive last year spoke in favor of the bill that banned the power lobbyist, saying that the county should not do business with people convicted of certain crimes.
Day got a special mention by Kamenetz, who lauded the union head for working with the county on a contract extension for county firefighters that will save the county money and prevent layoffs in the department.
Bereano was convicted of federal mail fraud charges connected to campaign contributions more than 15 years ago. Day was convicted in 1995 of misdemeanor charges related to pyramid investment scheme involving other firefighters.
But what really got them in trouble were their actions last year.
Bereano, who represents tanning salon owners, successfully fought off a bill sponsored by Councilman Vince Gardina that would have prohibited teens from using tanning beds in the county.
Day and his union supported Councilman Joseph Bartenfelder in the Democratic County Executive primary against Kamenetz. Gardina, who now is the director of the county Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability, supported Kamenetz.
Gardina sponsored an ethics bill that barred anyone convicted of certain crimes, such as the ones Bereano and Day were convicted of, from lobbying or negotiating with the county. The pair unsuccessfully attempted to have the law apply to future convictions.
But in June the council changed the law, making it prospective.
Bereano and Day were back.
“I’m returning with happiness in my soul,” Bereano said before walking in to the reception.