Who leaked Morhaim ethics inquiry?
I served in the Maryland House of Delegates from 2002- 2009 as a Republican representing Frederick and Washington counties. During that time, I worked with Del. Dan Morhaim, a Democrat, and we made progress together on issues ranging from improving our health care system to procurement reform.
Beginning with the Compassionate Use Act in 2003, Delegate Morhaim worked to bring the benefits of medical cannabis to Maryland citizens in a safe and responsible manner. He took this on when it was not yet politically popular, and he worked with all stakeholders to build bipartisan consensus on the best way to do this. Dr. Morhaim devoted nearly two decades to this issue, and his only goal was to help patients who badly needed relief.
That’s why it is disturbing to read in The Sun that an ethics inquiry is being considered (“Morhaim facing ethics inquiry for role in medical marijuana industry,” Sept. 22). But it’s not even the potential inquiry that disturbs me. I know that Delegate Morhaim is a person of high integrity who understands the need to maintain ethical and legal distance between his work as a legislator and his role outside the legislature. In working with Dr. Morhaim for nearly 10 years, he was always motivated solely to help improve health care in Maryland.
What is most disturbing is that the Sun reporter got this information “according to three people with direct knowledge of the inquiry.” Proceedings of the Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics are confidential, and divulging such information is not only inappropriate, it is against the law (Section 5-517 of the General Provisions Article).
Confidentiality is an integral part of many relationships: doctor-patient, lawyer-client, workplace proprietary data, military planning, business operations. What’s the point of confidentiality if information can be leaked via the excuse of anonymity? If that’s the case, no information and no individual’s reputation can ever be safe.
The Sun ought to disclose who these three individuals are. The Sun has this information, as the article acknowledged. Reporters don’t like to disclose their sources, but in this matter the public trust is at stake. The public has the right to know who may have violated the law here.