A lack of ethics, gross incompetence, and potential violations of the law have Calvin Ball’s Administration being called into court for attempting to circumvent a public process in order to give his developer friends a sweet deal on important properties in Ellicott City, such as the Historic Courthouse.
A hearing this week will likely determine that a full trial will proceed in September 2022 to determine if the Ball Administration violated public meetings laws and tried to hide critical information from the public regarding his attempts to establish a Community Development Corporation that would be run by his friends and big donors like Don Reuwer.
Is Calvin Ball literally trying to sell the Historic Courthouse, one of the MOST ICONIC and HISTORIC buildings in Howard County to benefit those contributing most to his campaign?
After several public meetings, the process to establish the Development Corporation with his friends suddenly stopped and the Commission’s final decisions to move forward were made in a backroom without community input or in the full light of public view.
Ball even put his campaign manager, who he hired to be a county employee AND has been on his reelection campaign’s payroll for years, to be in charge of deciding who could have access to this information.
Her simple answer… no one.
You can read more details about this web of smoke and mirrors here.
What are Executive Ball and his campaign manager trying to hide?
As if hiring one’s campaign manager for an ill-defined, though critical job while also on the campaign’s payroll isn’t bad enough; she wasn’t the only one. According to campaign records, four employees were paid a total of $101,284.67 in addition to their full time county salaries:
- Jamilla Ratliff (Ball’s campaign manager) paid $54,584.28 from Jan. 10, 2019 to Jan. 12, 2022
- Jennifer Jones paid $12,750 from Jan. 10, 2019 to Jan. 12, 2022
- Safa Hira paid $27,450.39 from Jan. 10, 2019 to Jan. 12, 2022
- Jessica Halpin paid $6,500 from Jan. 14, 2021 to Jan. 12, 2022
An April 14, 2022 “MarylandReporter.com” article looked into how common is the practice of paying employees to work on a campaign.
These backroom deals with developers and enabling full-time county employees to double-dip as paid campaign staffers COST HOWARD COUNTY’S TAXPAYERS MONEY!
How much time did these employees work on the campaign during business hours? How much county tax revenue will be given away to developers by selling off our county’s historic assets?
Stay tuned for another example of Executive Ball trying to use his power to benefit his own personal political interests that is costing county taxpayers about $800,000 a year.