Md. Towns, Counties Balk At Ethics Reform

WESTMINSTER, Md. (AP) — Many Maryland municipalities are balking at a state law aimed at stiffening their ethics rules.

The Carroll County Times reports Thursday that nearly three-quarters of municipalities are claiming at least partial exemptions because of their size, budget constraints or because the rules would discourage people from running for office.

The law passed in 2010 requires municipalities, county governments and local school boards to have rules on conflicts of interest and financial disclosure that are as stringent as those for state offices. The law took effect Oct. 1, 2011.

The State Ethics Commission says many governments are on the verge of complying. But the Maryland Municipal League says the courts may have to decide whether the commission has authority over local ethics rules.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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