Two years after he took office vowing to crack down on public corruption, Maryland U.S. Attorney Thomas M. DiBiagio is making good on the promise, the Baltimore Sun reports. DiBiagio has started probes touching city and state government and some well-known figures, but also have brought criticism that he is overreaching or playing politics. This month, it was disclosed that federal authorities had subpoenaed Baltimore City Council members in an apparent investigation of hiring practices and relationships with local businesses.
“The public should know that these investigations aren’t about politics or personalities,” DiBiagio told the Sun. “They really are about holding people accountable, and following the rules and right and wrong. … Just because you’re a public official doesn’t mean you’re immune from the rules.”
One federal grand jury investigation stems from Maryland State Police Superintendent Edward T. Norris’ use of an off-the-books expense account while he served as Baltimore’s police commissioner. Fhe FBI is investigating whether employees at a state crime-control agency improperly used federal funds – a probe criticized by former Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend during last fall’s gubernatorial election as “political garbage.”
Federal authorities have begun inquiries into the fund-raising activities of state Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller and contracting work done on the home of Injured Workers Insurance Fund head Thomas L. Bromwell, a former state senator from Baltimore County.