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Senator files ethics complaint against delegate

Saturday - 4/14/2012, 12:54am  ET

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - A state senator said he has filed an ethics complaint against a delegate who asked him to support a provision in a bill that would have made it easier for that delegate to repay about $75,000 in penalties he owes to a state real estate fund.

The Capital of Annapolis ( http://bit.ly/HGP29f) reported Friday that Sen. Edward Reilly, R-Anne Arundel, filed the complaint against Delegate Tony McConkey, R-Anne Arundel. It came after McConkey yelled at Reilly when he said he did not support the provision in the bill and was going to try to have it removed.

"He then yelled at me and cursed me and I asked him to leave my office, but he refused," Reilly told the newspaper, recounting a meeting the two had on the last day of the session on Monday. "I picked up the phone and called the Maryland state troopers, who came over and led him out of my office."

A state police spokesman said Thursday that two troopers responded to the call, and McConkey left when they asked.

McConkey was seeking an amendment to a bill to extend the life of the state commission that monitors real estate agents. It would have made it easier for McConkey to repay about $75,000 he owes to the Maryland Real Estate Guaranty Fund by reducing the interest rate on penalties.

McConkey owes the fund money for restitution to three real estate clients, according to state records. He has maintained his innocence in the cases, but entered the civil settlement freely, according to Maryland Real Estate Commission records.

Reilly was a member of a conference committee who was working to reconcile differences in the bill between the House and Senate.

McConkey did not respond to a request by the newspaper seeking comment, but he denied any conflict of interest last week.

The Washington Post first reported on the amendment McConkey was seeking.

A call and an email to McConkey's office by The Associated Press were not immediately returned.

The amendment, which was stripped out of the bill, also would have made it easier for McConkey to have his real estate license reinstated in Maryland after it was revoked in 2010 as part of the settlement. Under the amended law, licenses could be reinstated if an agent was making payments into the fund.

In an April 10 letter to the General Assembly's Ethics Committee, Reilly accused McConkey of misrepresenting a committee advisory statement concerning the case, The Capital reported.

"When the delegate came to me to discuss this issue, he indicated that he had an Ethics Committee letter indicating that he was in compliance with the ethics rule," Reilly wrote. "As I read the (committee's) letter, I strongly disagree."

Reilly, in an interview Friday with the AP, said he was particularly upset that McConkey persisted, even though newspaper articles already had been published on the matter.

"I was upset because of the delegate's disrespect for the General Assembly, even when presented with several derogatory pieces about his actions," Reilly said.

The senator also said he received a response from the ethics panel acknowledging the complaint had been received, but no hearings have been scheduled yet.

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Information from: The Capital of Annapolis, Md., http://www.hometownannapolis.com/


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)