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Archive for December 2011

The Wide Reach of Corruption in Prince George’s County Ties Into PGCPS

with 11 comments

With the sentencing of Jack and Leslie Johnson, many believe the final chapter is closed on corruption in Prince George’s County. U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein reminded us that those who think they slid under the radar of federal authorities should not rest easy just yet. A quick look at the campaign contributions by Ricker Brothers should tell us all that corruption within Prince George’s County politics didn’t end with Jack Johnson.

Dr. Baig was not the only person handing over cash to Jack in this scandal.  For those who might have already forgotten, Daniel Colton and Patrick Ricker, who represent Ricker Brothers, are serving time in federal prison for their roles in bribing public officials, uncovered during the FBI’s investigation of Jack Johnson.

Turns out Daniel Colton and Patrick Ricker are well known to most of the County’s elected officials, even if they are not household names among voters. They gave money to the campaigns of dozens of people who supposedly represent us. Even after their convictions, I’m not aware of any politician who decided to return their “tainted” money.

Although I would love to explore each and every politician’s ties to Ricker Brothers, because I am most concerned about Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS), one political contribution surprised me more than the others. Ricker Brothers was very generous to our PGCPS School Board Chair, Verjeana “Jeana” Jacobs, giving $1,000 to her campaign for the School Board. Statter 911 did an excellent job of reporting Colton and Ricker’s ties to Jacob’s husband, David. So perhaps even though Ricker Brothers has no stake in the quality of our School Board’s elected leaders, they might have had a interest in where the School Board spent their capital money. I’ve not been able to confirm who actually owns Washington Plaza and their sales representative won’t comment, but let me just point out that it sits adjacent to the Westphalia development, which was a major project of Daniel Colton and Patrick Ricker according to an September 28, 2009 article from the Washington Post.

Verjeana Jacobs was one of the fiercest advocates of moving School Board headquarters to Washington Plaza, which eventually was nixed by the General Assembly and wasted millions of taxpayer dollars in the process. A PGCPS Fact Sheet (dated December 15, 2008, just Google it) showcases the benefits of the move.  Is it any surprise that her husband was a registered lobbyist for Ricker Brothers around the same time (November 2008-September 2009)? In a further twist, David Jacobs stepped down from that position to become a registered lobbyist for the Prince George’s County Council. You can’t make this stuff up! Perhaps the answer is as simple as Jeana Jacobs’ husband lobbied for the Ricker Brothers, and they were kind enough to make a contribution to her campaign because of that connection. I’m not sure I’d want to be associated with them too closely now that they are in federal prison. I don’t have all the answers, but I’m sure the FBI has the resources to put all the puzzle pieces together, and is hopefully working hard to do so.

I think we should ask Verjeana Jacobs to clear her record by disclosing whether her ties to Ricker Brothers had anything to do with the Washington Plaza deal. The owners of the Plaza aren’t talking. At least, I’ve asked them about it and they declined to comment. I encourage my readers to give them a call too. Then right after you do that, call all of your other elected officials that gladly took Ricker Brother’s money (including our current County Executive), and ask them to return it so we can remove the stain of his corruption from our County for good. 

Here’s a list of all the candidates and slates who took money from Ricker Brothers to support their campaign activities:

ACHIEVEMENT 2000; Prince Georgians For A New Millenuim Slate

$250.00

ACHIEVEMENT 2000; Prince Georgians For A New Millenuim Slate

$500.00

ACHIEVEMENT 2000; Prince Georgians For A New Millenuim Slate

$250.00

Baker, Rushern III Friends Of-Comm For Pol Change (CPC)

$250.00

Benson, Joanne C. Friends Of

$200.00

Benson, Joanne C. Friends Of

$1,000.00

Better Communities Committee Slate

$100.00

Better Communities Committee Slate

$500.00

Black, Alonzo (AL), Citizens to Elect

$100.00

Black, Alonzo (AL), Citizens to Elect

$100.00

Black, Alonzo (AL), Citizens to Elect

$100.00

Branch, Talmadge Friends of

$1,000.00

Branch, Talmadge Friends of

$100.00

Committee For A Progressive Prince Georges Slate

$250.00

Currie, Ulysses Friends Of

$1,000.00

Currie, Ulysses Friends Of

$200.00

Currie, Ulysses Friends Of

$2,000.00

Democratic State Central Committee Of Maryland

$1,500.00

Democrats 2000 Slate

$1,000.00

Duncan, Doug Friends Of

$500.00

Ehrlich, Bob For Maryland Committee

$4,000.00

Ehrlich, Bob For Maryland Committee

$150.00

Grady, Milt Friends Of

$100.00

Green, Leo Friends Of

$250.00

Healey, Anne Friends Of

$250.00

Healey, Anne Friends Of

$250.00

Holmes, Marvin E. Jr. Friends Of

$250.00

Ivey, Glenn Friends Of

$1,000.00

Ivey, Glenn Friends Of

$250.00

Jackson, Michael Friends Of

$500.00

Jacobs, Jeana Citizens For

$1,000.00

Judges, Comm. To Ret. Sitting C.C. Bruce, Warren, Jaklitsch

$1,000.00

Lawlah, Gloria Friends Of

$500.00

Lawlah, Gloria Friends Of

$500.00

Merkowitz, David Friends Of

$100.00

Miller, Mike Marylanders For

$1,000.00

Miller, Mike Marylanders For

$1,000.00

Miller, Mike Marylanders For

$1,000.00

Miller, Mike Marylanders For

$1,000.00

Miller, Mike Marylanders For

$1,000.00

O’Donnell, Tony Friends Of

$500.00

O’Donnell, Tony Friends Of

$1,000.00

Patterson, Obie Committee To Elect

$250.00

Patterson, Obie Committee To Elect

$400.00

Patuxent Progressive Leadership Slate

$4,000.00

Skerpon, Lynn Loughlin Friends Of

$100.00

Skerpon, Lynn Loughlin Friends Of

$100.00

Swain, Darren M. Friends Of/Visionaries 2000

$100.00

Townsend, Kathleen Kennedy Friends Of

$2,000.00

Townsend, Kathleen Kennedy Friends Of

$1,000.00

Twenty Third District Team Slate

$500.00

Twenty Third District Team Slate

$2,500.00

Victory Team Slate, The

$4,000.00

Victory Team Slate, The

$350.00

Vision For 2006 Slate

$2,000.00

Vision For 2006 Slate

$500.00

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Written by pgd9politico

December 14, 2011 at 8:42 pm