For Immediate Release
Nov. 23, 2015
Contact: Gino Renne 240-876-7701
UFCW Local 1994 MCGEO President Gino Renne has sent a letter today via overnight mail the State Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics asking them to investigate Delegate Bill Frick for possible Public Ethics Law violations. The request was sent to Senator Jamie Raskin and Delegate Marvin Holmes today.
Maryland Ethics Law prohibits the use the prestige of public office for private gain. Del. Frick is going to introduce legislation in the 2016 session to allow private alcohol wholesalers to sell directly to restaurants and retail establishments in Montgomery County.
Because Del. Frick and his wife, Bethany, own a significant amount of stock in both Diageo North America and Beam, Inc., the Fricks "have economic interests of at least tens of thousands of dollars in Companies—the majority of which is in Diageo—that would profit if the Montgomery County liquor bill Delegate Frick has supported is enacted.”
Bethany Frick is also employed by Diageo.
The letter notes that Frick has gone “beyond introducing and sponsoring” the legislation.
“He [Del. Frick] has also apparently begun a public campaign to support the legislation and its underlying purposes by—among other things—appearing in the local Montgomery County press and encouraging passage of both the bill and potential referendum. He has also sponsored a petition seeking citizen support for the bill. Delegate Frick is therefore using his position as Delegate to sponsor and promote the opening of the liquor market in Montgomery County, which would benefit his interests in the liquor industry.”
“We want to urge the Committee to investigate and ultimately take action to ensure that Delegate Frick’s private interests do not interfere with his work as a Delegate,” Renne wrote in the letter.
Our system of representative government depends in part on the people maintaining the highest trust in their officials and employees. The people have a right to public officials who are impartial and do not use their office to benefit themselves financially.