Monday, March 18, 2019

Md. bill would make it easier for child sexual abuse victims to sue Catholic Church

Amid worldwide investigations of child sexual abuse allegations against the Catholic Church, Maryland lawmakers on Saturday advanced legislation that would let people sue their assailants for damages in civil court regardless of when the abuse took place.
Lawmakers said that as the clergy sexual abuse scandal widens, it should be easier for victims to hold perpetrators — and the church — accountable.
“This is an issue that is growing in magnitude every single day; it is growing in magnitude across the country,” said House Judiciary Chairman Del. Luke Clippinger (D-Baltimore City).
“Those people should get relief,” he said.
More than a dozen attorneys general have launched state-level criminal investigations into child sexual abuse allegations involving the church. Officials in MarylandVirginia and the District are among them.
Maryland’s legislation won preliminary approval in the House of Delegates on Saturday, and it would erase an existing statute of limitations on bringing civil sexual abuse cases in the future. It would also apply retroactively, giving victims until October 2021 to file suit over abuse alleged to have happened at any time in the past.
If the proposal becomes law, it will create a new avenue for victims who are now adults to seek monetary damages. The civil cases can be filed regardless of whether law enforcement agencies pursue criminal charges.
Maryland has no statute of limitations for criminal prosecution of child sexual abuse, but it does for civil cases. In civil courts, child sexual abuse cases require a lower burden of proof. Plaintiffs there must prove only that the abuse happened by a preponderance of evidence, not beyond a reasonable doubt...
https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/md-politics/md-bill-would-make-it-easier-for-child-sexual-abuse-victims-to-sue-catholic-church/2019/03/16/607ffafa-4824-11e9-90f0-0ccfeec87a61_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.af25eb756a74

Friday, March 15, 2019

Could any Nonschool Based MCPS administrators substitute in classrooms?


What if MCPS administrators each had to substitute a certain number of days a year in actual MCPS classrooms?  These same administrators often have time for out of state conferences and meetings.  Wouldn't it be beneficial for MCPS administrators to actually spend time in MCPS classrooms to see the programs they oversee in action on a daily basis?


MCPS Board of Education Looks to Lower Requirements for Substitute Teachers #Unlicensed #expungement #sexoffenders #backdoor

...The school system’s policy for hiring substitutes, policy GEF, requires an applicant to have at least a bachelor’s degree or certification, and people applying to substitute in vocational programs can be considered without a college degree, but must have at least two years of experience in a related area.
School board members said they hope applicants with associate’s degrees or students at Montgomery College who need student teaching experience to graduate will be allowed to substitute. The only statewide requirement for becoming a substitute teacher in Maryland is a high school diploma.
“The Montgomery Board of Education is committed to being agile and innovative in finding solutions to evolving needs,” according to a resolution introduced by the school board this week.

Superintendent Jack Smith called the proposal a “great idea” and will present recommendations in July...

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Tax savings tip for MCPS retirees

MCPS retirees who participate in the 403(b) retirement savings plan and also have funds in an IRA can potentially reduce their Maryland income tax bill by using a little-known feature of the 403(b) plan.

Under Maryland law, retirees age 65 and older are exempt from paying tax on a limited amount of  403(b) plan withdrawals if their Social Security income is below a certain threshold and their other pension income is below a certain amount.  And for those whose Social Security income exceeds the annually-set threshold, they can suspend their Social Security benefits between full Social Security retirement age and age 70 to take advantage of the 403(b) withdrawal exemption.  (Consult a financial adviser to determine if this is the best strategy for your situation.)

IRA withdrawals are, however, fully taxable as ordinary income.

But under a little-known provision of the MCPS 403(b) plan, retirees who are still classified as "active employees" (so that they can take substitute and temporary positions) can transfer funds from their IRA into the MCPS 403(b) plan.  Those funds can then be withdrawn free of Maryland income tax if the participant's Social Security income and other pension income is below a certain threshold.   Contact Fidelity for information about transferring IRA funds to your 403(b) account.

This means that some astute taxpayers can entirely avoid paying taxes on income saved for retirement and gains on that income.  This is even better than a Roth savings plan.

For more information, see:

https://taxes.marylandtaxes.gov/Individual_Taxes/Individual_Tax_Types/Income_Tax/Filing_Information/If_You_Are_a_Senior_Citizen/Maryland_Pension_Exclusion.shtml?fbclid=IwAR0dJWW6Y_P4I7v2UJbYYRma3iGAdcnz8Uco6BBA9Pl2zreRpfxWvb0fG0Y



WTOP: 3rd Damascus High School student charged in locker room assault was attacked as freshman

One of the Damascus High School football players accused in the locker room sexual assault of younger students suffered a similar attack a year earlier when he was a freshman, a Montgomery County judge said Thursday.
Doctors discovered that the third of four students charged had also been assaulted with a broom. But he didn’t consider it a sexual attack at the time, and he didn’t tell anyone because he didn’t want to be “a snitch or a punk,” according to defense attorney Shelly Brown...

Montgomery County Taxpayers League Meeting Wed Mar 20, 7-9 pm

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Dumais, Feldman, King, Fraser-Hidalgo, and Qi Push Law that will take about $308,700 annually from Mont. Co. revenue. And the rich get richer!

(Note the Glenstone Museum was able to route a Ride On bus through their property without any public discussion.  That change in the Tobytown Ride On bus line requires riders to ride through the Glenstone property everytime they use the Ride On to get to and from Tobytown and Rockville.  The Ride On bus enters the locked Glenstone gates to pick up at the private Glenstone Ride On bus stop.  Who else in Montgomery County has a Ride On bus stop on private property behind locked gates and inaccessible to the public?)
...The bill would allow Glenstone to seek property tax exemption for all parts of the land that are used for museum purposes so long as Glenstone remains open to the public and doesn’t charge admission.
Montgomery’s county council and county executive submitted testimony opposing the bill, citing lost revenue.
Right now, state law allows Glenstone to exempt up to 100 acres. If the bill passes, the whole property could eventually be eligible and there are plans to use the entire acreage for artistic purposes. The county’s revenue loss would be about $308,700 annually if the whole property is exempted.
“The cost of this exemption would force the County to either absorb the revenue loss or shift the tax burden to its other taxpayers,” the county Office of Intergovernmental Relations wrote in a letter to the Ways and Means Committee.
The state’s property tax loss would be an estimated $34,800...

Mont. Co. Council: Nancy Navarro Responds to Complaints about School Bus Camera Scheme

E-mail sent out by Montgomery County Council President Nancy Navarro regarding complaints received about Montgomery County school bus camera scheme.  

Note Navarro's e-mail does not explain how Maryland distance requirement of 100 feet for yellow flashing warning lights is reconciled with bus camera video information.  

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

Thank you for your correspondence expressing your views on school bus
cameras.   I have made it available to my Council colleagues, and I am
pleased to respond on their behalf.

The Council has recently received complaints about school bus cameras, where
drivers are concerned that they are not given enough warning before a bus
turns on its flashing red lights. 
  School bus drivers are required by State
law to turn on flashing yellow lights 100 feet before stopping, and then to
activate their flashing red lights when stopped. 
  The flashing yellow
lights function similarly to yellow traffic lights, alerting drivers to slow
down and stop.    

School bus camera tickets are reviewed twice -- once by the vendor and once
by civilian staff in the Police Department.   If the reviewers determine an
actual violation occurred, the ticket is then signed by a supervising sworn
police officer.   Approximately 20% of all tickets are rejected as not being
in violation of the law.   The video tickets show a yellow circle in the
upper left corner, which turns to red when the bus driver has activated the
flashing red lights.   This allows all viewers, including the Police
Department, to understand the timing of the flashing yellow lights and red
lights as they relate to the actual violation.   When someone has a concern
about a specific ticket they have received, they can contact the automated
traffic enforcement division of the Police Department.   The staff will then
review the ticket again.   I hope this addresses your concerns about the
automated cameras.  

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts on this important
matter.

Best regards,
 
Nancy Navarro
President, Montgomery County Council 

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

@CNN JUST IN: Dozens, including actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, charged in alleged cheating scam on college entrance tests



Sentencing delayed for the guilty in Dallas County Schools corruption case #ForceMultiplierSolutions #BusPatrol @mcps @mococouncil

Update on prosecutions in Dallas, Texas bus camera scandal involving the company that MCPS and Montgomery County Police chose for exterior bus cameras in Montgomery County, Maryland.

~~~


December 7, 2018
Five men in the past year have pleaded guilty to federal corruption leading to the downfall of Dallas County Schools — 
Locke Lord attorney Paul Coggins, who for eight years served as the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Texas, said sentencing delays over investigating reports aren't uncommon. If nothing else, he said, they "give the government and defense more time to agree on things rather than fight over material that goes into the pre-sentencing investigative report."
...But, he said delays could be for another reason: the defendants could be offering prosecutors information about a complex, widespread case that has so far netted guilty pleas from five people. The others are former Dallas City Council member Larry Duncan, who served as board president of Dallas County Schools; Rick Sorrells, the agency's former superintendent; Robert Leonard, the CEO of the stop-arm camera company that took millions from DCS; and Swartwood, who was an associate of Leonard's.
"The government may want more time to access Mr. Caraway's agreement of cooperation and run down leads," Coggins said. "Or they may want time to complete the report. Or it could be a little bit of both."
...Right now, Caraway and Sorrells are scheduled to find out their fates on April 5. Two weeks later, it will be Larry Duncan's turn — if the schedules hold...
...Leonard, the CEO and chairman of Force Multiplier Solutions who pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy charges shortly before Caraway cut his deal with the feds, also had a Dec. 14 date. But for now, at least, the benefactor to many Dallas political candidates will be last to find out his time behind bars: His sentencing has been pushed back all the way to May of next year...
https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:3tfx1bLEXG4J:https://www.dallasnews.com/news/dallas-city-council/2018/12/07/sentencing-delayed-guilty-dallas-county-schools-corruption-case-including-dwaine-caraway+&cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

Monday, March 11, 2019

AP: Maryland moves toward curbing abusive teachers’ job movement


ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — After high-profile sexual misconduct cases in schools, Maryland took a step Thursday toward joining a growing number of states enacting legislation to prevent teachers with records of misconduct from moving school-to-school.
The Maryland House of Delegates voted 140-0 to ban nondisclosure agreements involving sexual abuse for school employees who have direct contact with children. The measure, which now goes to the state’s Senate, also would require prospective school employers to conduct a thorough review of applicants’ employment history.
“Child sex abuse is a horrible thing to acknowledge. It’s so much easier to turn a blind eye to it. That’s been failing our children for generations, and so we’re not going to turn a blind eye to it,” bill sponsor Del. C.T. Wilson, a survivor of child sexual abuse who has spoken of his experience while advocating for laws to protect children, said in a recent interview. “I’m going to do my best to make it as public as I can. If we air out our dirty laundry, we can clean it tomorrow.”..

Friday, March 8, 2019

Ashburton Teacher has MD Certificate on "Hold". MD will Only Disclose if Asked.

TEACHER CHARGED WITH CHILD PORN HAS CERTIFICATION ‘ON HOLD’

The Ashburton Elementary School teacher who was charged with 10 counts of child pornography this week has a “hold” on his teacher certification, a state official said.
Daemon Alan Dartouzos, 54, of Germantown remains technically active, but the official said that the Maryland State Department of Education would inform any school system trying to hire him of his legal status, the official said...

MD House Told $6.4M of Bus Fine $$ Can't Be Found #NoBid #FraudWasteAbuse .@DelegateKaiser .@EricLuedtke

On March 7, 2019, the Maryland House Ways and Means Committee heard public comment on House Bill 45.  House Bill 45 is the Governor's proposal to create a statewide Inspector General position to investigate public school issues.  The Governor tried to get this legislation through last year as well, but the Maryland legislature rejected the bill.

Below is public comment from the Parents' Coalition detailing the bus camera scheme that is currently being used by Montgomery County Public Schools and the Montgomery County Police.
The bus camera citation scheme was implemented without any public process and it is impossible for the public to determine the revenue generated by this scheme.

The amount of revenue being collected through bus camera fines is important because the faster the $18 million + price tag for these bus cameras is paid off, the faster MCPS can start earning revenue from this program.  Revenue from the bus camera scheme could go to funding safety improvements in and around the MCPS school bus program, education campaigns, or other public school projects.

The visuals shown to the Maryland House Ways and Means Committee in the video are also shown below the video on this page.

Random members of the public listening to this presentation broke out in applause at its conclusion.  They were gaveled to silence by Montgomery County Delegate Anne R. Kaiser.




Thursday, March 7, 2019

Mont. Co. Council LOVES Plastic Fields! 126 Degrees is NOT too Hot, Heat Islands don't Exist, Plastic is Organic, Plastic Pollution is Great.

On Monday, March 4, 2019, the Montgomery County Council discussed legislation proposed in Annapolis to prohibit the use of Program Open Space funds for artificial turf purchases.

Councilmembers Hans Riemer, Gabe Albornoz and Craig Rice used this opportunity to expound on how fantastic big sheets of plastic are for fields and playgrounds.  Nancy Navarro and Sidney Katz voted along with Riemer, Albornoz and Rice to oppose this State legislation.

In their speeches Hans Riemer stated that he thinks cork and zeolite are not as problamatic as tire crumb.  Apparently, skin lacerations and gashes are acceptable to Mr. Riemer.

Gabe Albornoz said that artificial turf is a problem when it gets hot in July and August.  Apparently, a 126 degree elementary school plastic field in October is OK.

Craig Rice thinks MCPS already is now routinely putting down natural grass surfaces.  Apparently he missed the MCPS plan to put a plastic football/soccer field down at every MCPS high school.

None of the 5 supporters of artificial turf said a word about what happens to these massive sheets of plastic when they are worn out in 8 years.

Below is video of the March 4th Montgomery County Council discussion that explains why artificial turf fields and playgrounds will continue to be funded in Montgomery County.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

ABC7: Protests planned, residents speak out, over planned communications tower in Montgomery Co.

https://wjla.com/news/local/protests-planned-over-planned-communications-tower

WPost: "One child appeared to be bound and gagged, according to the records."

Montgomery County elementary school teacher arrested on child pornography charges

For his first six years, according to the school system, he worked part time at Ashburton and other schools: Takoma Park Elementary, Garrett Park Elementary, Kensington Parkwood Elementary and Whetstone Elementary. From 1998 until he was put on leave last year, he worked solely at Ashburton, a school just north of the Capital Beltway and several blocks west of Old Georgetown Road.

Electronic storage devices were found in the house raid and examined by the FBI, police said. Among the images found, according to Montgomery County court records, were 10 digital photographs of prepubescent children, many naked and performing obscene acts. One child appeared to be bound and gagged, according to the records.
According to an arrest warrant for Dartouzos filed in court, the investigation of him grew out of much larger investigation that stretched to 2014.
In that year, an international money transfer service — Xoom.com — notified Yahoo that “a number of Yahoo! accounts were engaged in the sale of child exploitation material,” according to the arrest warrant written by Montgomery County Detective Dane Onorio...

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

MCPS Ashburton ES PE Teacher Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

Today, the detectives from the Montgomery County Department of Police – Special Victims Investigations Division, Child Exploitation Unit, arrested Daemon Alan Dartouzos, of the 20300 block of Sandsfield Terrace in Germantown, charging him with ten counts of Possession of Child Pornography.
Dartouzos is employed by the Montgomery County Public Schools as a Physical Education teacher at Ashburton Elementary School in Bethesda.  Inquiries regarding Dartouzos employment status should be directed to MCPS.
These charges are a result of an extensive investigation by detectives from the Child Exploitation Unit in coordination with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Detectives do not believe that the images of child pornography related to this investigation involved any MCPS students.
Detectives are urging anyone who has information regarding Daemon Dartouzos or these incidents to contact the Child Exploitation Unit at 240-773-5400.

FieldTurf Says Removal of RMHS Artificial Turf Involved Bad Actors, Omits They Guaranteed RMHS Field would be Recycled and Not End Up in Landfill

On Friday, March 1, 2019, the Maryland House Environmental and Transportation Committee held a hearing on House Bill 1142.  HB 1142 would seek to regulate the disposal of artificial turf.

As part of the public hearing, various people spoke about the disposal of the Richard Montgomery High School artificial turf in the summer of 2018.  The disposal of that plastic football field was documented here on the Parents' Coalition blog.  One of our members happened to see the plastic field being rolled up and loaded on to an open tractor trailer.  As the plastic and crumb rubber was driven away, crumb rubber was spilling out all over the ground and road. 

We documented the removal of the RMHS field and made the pictures public. 
Some of our pictures were used in support of House Bill 1142.

After members of the public spoke in support of the bill those that opposed the bill spoke.  One of the speakers opposing the bill was Zach Franz representing FieldTurf (video of statement below).  Mr. Franz referenced the earlier public comments about the disposal of the Richard Montgomery High School artificial turf field by saying, "some of the earlier reference bad actors that could be a subcontractor that was hired by a field owner to dispose of a field improperly."

Mr. Franz omitted that when the first FieldTurf (no bid) artificial turf fields were being installed on Montgomery County Public School fields the issue of disposal of these fields was part of the public debate.  Disposal of these fields was the topic of discussion in public meetings at the Montgomery County Council.

As a result of those discussions, FieldTurf issued the December 2009 letter shown below guaranteeing that the fields they installed in MCPS would be,

"100% recycled after its useful life is finished and will also guarantee that the field does not end up in a landfill. " 

So when the Richard Montgomery High School FieldTurf artificial turf field was removed and dumped by a river in Baltimore County and sent to a landfill in Virginia, who was the "bad actor" in that situation?





Monday, March 4, 2019

“If I don’t make it to next year, I’m going to give you guys one hell of a fight this year,” Wilson tearfully concluded.

Md. looks at eliminating statute of limitations for sex abuse

Maryland’s House of Delegates is considering a bill that would eliminate the statute of limitations in civil claims of child sex abuse.
The House Judiciary Committee heard testimony on the bill on Thursday from survivors and advocates. Among them were the bill’s sponsor, Del. C.T. Wilson, who was sexually abused as a child himself.
In addition to firsthand accounts of abuse, the committee heard from various survivor organizations, as well as those who deal with legally pursuing sex abuse cases.
“There are people here, who probably won’t be here next year,” Wilson said in his opening statement to the committee. “And some of them are going to take their own lives, or their lives will end early because of what they went through.”
“If I don’t make it to next year, I’m going to give you guys one hell of a fight this year,” Wilson tearfully concluded.
No one at the hearing spoke in opposition to the bill...

https://wtop.com/maryland/2019/03/md-looks-at-eliminating-statute-of-limitations-for-sex-abuse/

Friday, March 1, 2019

How a MCPS Teacher Faked His Own Death to Avoid Civil or Criminal Penalties for Sexual Abuse of a Student



Civil Actions – Child Sexual Abuse – Statute of Limitations
Janis Zink Sartucci
On Behalf of the Parents’ Coalition of Montgomery County, Maryland
February 28, 2019

SUPPORT

As a member of the Parents’ Coalition of Montgomery County, Maryland, I have been tracking cases involving the sexual abuse of students by Montgomery County Public School (MCPS) staff for over 5 years. As part of this work, I attend court hearings involving these cases and listen to the audio transcripts of sentencing hearing. Many times I have been the only member of the public in the courtroom during sentencing proceedings.

Today I am going to tell you about what one of the victims of sexual abuse by a MCPS teacher said at that perpetrator’s sentencing hearing. I am bringing her words to this committee so that you can understand why it may take a child an indeterminate amount of time to report childhood sexual abuse. There is no set timeline when a child that has been abused is able to come forward and for that reason the statute of limitations in these cases should be eliminated.

Former MCPS music teacher Lawrence Joynes was arrested by Homeland Security in February of 2013 for sending child pornography videos to a man in South Carolina. Initially, MCPS and the press reported that the charges did not involve MCPS students. However, when investigators looked at the pornographic images that Joynes was transmitting, they saw that they were pictures of children in a classroom. When the news broke that Joynes had been arrested on child abuse and pornography charges his mugshot was on the news. A person who was now an adult in her mid 30’s saw the news and recognized Joynes as the MCPS teacher who had sexually abused and raped her 20 years earlier.

At the sentencing hearing of Lawrence Joynes that adult victim spoke to the court.
The adult had been sexually abused and raped by Lawrence Joynes when she was 12, 13 and 14 years old in 1991, 1992 and 1993. The victim described the pain, humiliation and suffering that she had endured after being victimized by Joynes. She had years of trauma, night sweats, and insomnia. In 2005 and now in her mid 20’s, she finally decided to confront Joynes about the abuse, she found he had a website. She attempted to contact Joynes through an e-mail account listed on his website. The day after she sent an e-mail to the website, Joynes’ website announced that Lawrence Joynes had been found dead. He had left a suicide note stating that “today was a good day to die.” The victim blamed herself for his death.

Then in 2009 the victim discovered a teacher named Lawrence Joynes at a MCPS school. She contacted this person and he responded that he was Lawrence Joynes’ nephew and that Joynes had killed himself years earlier. The nephew exchanged e-mails with the victim. In fact, Lawrence Joynes was pretending to be the nephew.

The victim believed that Lawrence Joynes was dead until 2013 when she saw the news story about his arrest on child pornography charges. The victim said her “world collapsed” that day. Not only did she realize that Lawrence Joynes was still alive 20 years after he had abused her, but also that he had gone on to sexually abuse over a dozen more children. She summoned the courage to call the police and for the first time in 20 years, said out loud the crimes against her that Lawrence Joynes had committed. The police made her give detailed accounts of each sexual encounter and made her go back to the locations where Joynes had assaulted and raped her. She had to go back to Eastern Middle School in Silver Spring and other locations where Joynes had taken her. She said the trauma all came back to her.

The victim did not want to go forward with pressing charges. She did not want to retell the abuse over and over. She did not want to see details of the crime against her in the news. But, all she could do was think about the 14 elementary school children that Joynes’ had sexually abused and photographed in the intervening years. She had an overwhelming feeling of guilt that Joynes had been able to convince her he was dead, had faked another identity and had gone on to sexually abuse over a dozen more children. She wanted to end her own life.

She said Joynes ruined her life. She will never be whole. She said she never had the chance to become the person she was meant to be. She said he stole this from her, he stole her childhood, he stole her teenage years. She said he raped the good in her and raped her soul.

MCPS teacher Lawrence Joynes had successfully faked his own death and put off a victim from pursuing legal action against him for over a decade. 

Thursday, February 28, 2019

WBAL: Bill Eliminates Statute of Limitations for Child Sexual Abuse Victims to File Civil Claims

https://www.wbaltv.com/article/statute-of-limitations-for-child-sex-abuse-victims-in-civil-claims/26576661

Frank DeFilippo: Pulling Rank

...Lierman’s daughter, Del. Brooke Lierman (D), of South Baltimore, wants to give the Baltimore City Council the authority to cook election-day books. Translated, legislation she’s sponsored would let the Council decide whether to establish open primaries and “ranked choice” elections in the city.
These are loopy ideas that have their origins in such mellowed-out places as California and Takoma Park, and if the rest of the nation has learned anything it’s to follow the lead of neither of the two. One is increasingly unfit for human habitation and the other has bunkered itself into a nuclear-free stupor. Both fancy themselves as incubators for advanced thinking...
...Ranked choice elections, and their variations, are supposed to prevent candidates from winning with less than a majority of votes. They have approached disaster in Maine, the only state to adopt the controversial system, and a cumbersome system in the several California cities that have instituted the ranking system. (Ranked choice voting is also under considering in the Montgomery County legislative delegation; Takoma Park uses the system in municipal elections now.)
Ranked choice elections delay returns as well as results while election board math whizzes tinker with algorithms to chase the elusive 50.1 percent and in some elections have failed to reach the magic qualifying number. In Baltimore, often as few as 20 percent of the voters control 100 percent of the vote. That dismal performance probably won’t change with ranked choice, though the margin of victory theoretically would. Who would we be kidding but ourselves?
Essentially, ranked choice elections are the new politics plugged into the old. They institutionalize the old political machine trickery of “single-shooting” that is a common behind-the-curtain practice of political insiders but is little-known to the general public.
Here’s how it works: Let’s say there are six candidates running for five judgeships on the ballot and a voter prefers one over the other five. Instead of voting for five of the six, the voter casts a single vote for their preferred candidate, thus giving their candidate a vote and the others none. That single vote has a multiplier effect of five in the electoral advantage. Single-shooting was how political machine entrenched itself for decades.
And so it goes with ranked voting. Voters rank candidates according to preference. And in tallying the votes, candidates are eliminated from the bottom up until one at the top achieves a fraction more than 50 percent of the vote for a simple majority. Name recognition and incumbency would dominate the ballot...

Fake invoices and gambling debts: How a county bureaucrat stole $6.7 million

Peter Bang was shaking.
The 20-year Montgomery County employee sat before the county attorney and his deputy in a conference room in Rockville, staring at the piece of paper in front of him. He was being placed on leave without pay for stealing more than $6.7 million in public funds over six years, by far the largest embezzlement scheme in the affluent suburb’s history.
Bang “was trembling; he was shaking the whole time,” Deputy County Attorney John Markovs said. “He lowered his head and seemed resigned to the fact he had been caught.”
Byung Il “Peter” Bang, a numbers and budget guy, was also an embezzler and a gambler, according to court filings — bringing hundreds of thousands of dollars to casinos across the country even as he wagered he would get away with stealing millions from Montgomery County coffers...
...“Neither the people below him or above him seemed to be able to answer questions about the department’s finances,” said Jacob Sesker, then the County Council’s economic development analyst.
Bang’s appearance added to the effect.
“He was always the best-dressed man in the room,” said Sesker, now a senior legislative analyst with the county. “It’s not that often you’re in a room full of people both in the public and private sector, and the best-dressed person is a bureaucrat.”..
...Bang then directed money from the county toward a false company that seemed to be created for the scam, with a name evoking the province: Chungbuk Incubator Fund LLC. He approved the LLC’s fake invoices, directing the county to hold the checks for him to pick up. The money went to bank accounts associated with Bang’s home address in Germantown.
The scheme ended after Montgomery privatized its economic development functions in 2016, doing away with Bang’s department — and his ability to direct funds with apparent impunity. Bang was transferred to the county’s finance department.
And there he might have stayed if the Internal Revenue Service hadn’t knocked on the county attorney’s door with a summons in April 2017...