Howard County Maryland Blog

Local Politics and Current Events

Chief Livesay to Retire

Posted by David Keelan on Saturday, May 20, 2006

From the Baltimore Sun this morning.

Wayne Livesay, will retire May 31 after more than eight years in command to devote himself full time to running for County Council, he said yesterday — the same day he received a legal opinion saying he would have to resign to avoid violating federal law.

Although I don’t think he had much of a choice in the matter, I think he is doing the right thing and I applaud him for doing so. Larry Carson’s article is a real puff piece.  I suppose that is expected when a long serving public official retires.  Their will be plenty of time to go into the details of Mr. Livesay’s record between now and the September primary. Of course if you are reading this you know that the issue of the Hatch Act and the Chief’s position relative to the Hatch Act has been a topic of conversation in political circles and on this blog.  Apparantly the OSC decision prompted the Chief’s announcement.

According to the opinion (by the OSC), Livesay’s signature on current federal grant applications and his supervision of their implementation means he is covered by the Hatch Act. He had requested the opinion shortly after filing his candidacy in February and had been hoping to take a leave of absence without violating the law.

On thing that stood out in the article was this sentence, “He had requested the opinion shortly after filing his candidancy in February….” The Washington Post had previously reported

Livesay said he asked the office for a legal opinion after critics raised concerns that he was violating the Hatch Act, a 1939 law that prohibits some state and local employees of programs that receive federal funds from becoming candidates for public office in partisan elections.

I suppose “after critics raised concerns” could be the same as “shortly after filing his candidacy in February”.  I don’t know except to say that I have been led to believe differently.  If “after critics raised concern” is a reference to after I started posting articles on this issue and then the papers picked it up that would not be “shortly after filing his candidacy in February”.  I will have to inquire – because I would like to know exactly when Mr. Livesay asked for an opinion. Why?  If he asked for an opinion in February or early March it may slightly change my perspective on how he handled this.

From what I have read the OSC renders opinions very quickly.  Sometimes within 30 days.  I also think it would have been prudent to launch an inquiry with the OSC prior to filing for candidacy.  Rest assured this loose end won’t remain loose for long.

Suffice it to say – now we don’t have to focus on this issue but now we can focus on the issues that effect the County.   That doesn’t mean that this will go completely away.  As I have said repeatedly, I think this affair is consistent with the way Mr. Livesay handles other issues and demonstrates a lack of good old fashioned common sense.

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6 Responses to “Chief Livesay to Retire”

  1. I like the new look! And you you like WordPress much better than Blogger. I switched a long time ago and never looked back.

    If it is true that Livesay asked for this opinion back in February, I have to wonder why it took the US Office of Special Counsel so damn long to make a decision. I can’t believe this is the first time this issue has come up in the United States, so they must have had some prior instances to base this decision on. My next question is why did it take the Special Counsel three months for them to make a decision on Livesay. My guess is it would have taken even longer if the issue didn’t make it’s way into the public debate. The media focus on it in recnt days probably forced a decision to be made at a minimum, otherwise this could have dragged on even longer.

  2. hocomd said

    I like the new look too. WordPress is much easier to work with and has a lot of nice features. However, unless I go to my own server I can’t work with the HTML. I don’t think I am going back either. Hayduke and Evan, if you are looking at this check it out. WordPress has a great import feature for blogspot.com users.

    Anyway Dave, I echo your sentiments. It isn’t the first time it came up. It came up in 02 and 04 with the Deputy Police Chief (now Police Chief) of the City of Henderson Nevada. I have posted a link to this earlier.

  3. Disappointed Officer said

    I don’t understand why no reporter has simply investigated when the actual inquiry was made to the OSC and on what date Livesay first received an OSC ruling. It is a simple matter of accountability and identifying how much he has lied about this matter to everyone. It is a credibility issue.

  4. hocomd said

    Disappointed Officer. A reporter has, and the information will be forthcoming.

  5. I was tring to asnswer some of the posted concerns but I think I lost my message. Did you get it? Please let me know at my email address so I can rewite it if necessay. Thanks.

  6. Mr. Livesay, no I didn’t get the message.

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