Council Puts Elrich on the Spot Over Kleine

By Adam Pagnucco.

The Montgomery County Council has issued the statement below about Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Andrew Kleine. Kleine, who is the highest ranking manager in county government and is answerable only to County Executive Marc Elrich, has admitted to two ethics violations related to promoting his book and helping two of his business partners get county contracts. The council says that it is “disappointed and troubled by the actions” of Kleine and intends to hold an “oversight meeting” on the matter. That said, only Elrich can decide what happens to Kleine.

The council’s statement appears below.


Montgomery County Council statement on July 1 Ethics Commission agreement with Chief Administrative Officer Kleine

ROCKVILLE, Md., July 7, 2020–Council President Sidney Katz made the following statement on behalf of the Montgomery County Council about the July 1 Ethics Commission agreement with Chief Administrative Officer Andrew Kleine.

Our system of representative government depends on the people maintaining the highest trust in their elected officials and government employees. All Montgomery County residents expect and deserve public employees who are impartial and use independent and sound judgment when making decisions that impact more than one million community members.

The Council is disappointed and troubled by the actions of Chief Administrative Officer Kleine. We greatly appreciate the Montgomery County Ethics Commission and the Office of the Inspector General for investigating Mr. Kleine’s actions and bringing these issues to light. Montgomery County’s ethics law applies to all County government employees and elected officials and has standards in place to guard against conflicts of interest and improper influence and includes comprehensive ethical standards for conducting County business.

The Montgomery County Charter provides that Mr. Kleine serves at the pleasure of County Executive Elrich. As one of the highest-ranking employees in Montgomery County, Mr. Kleine has a heightened responsibility to instill trust among the public, employees and government leaders. While we acknowledge that Mr. Kleine has taken responsibility for his actions, we also encourage him to do everything in his power to work on rebuilding the community’s trust. Moreover, the Council will conduct an oversight meeting on this matter in July.