Browning said the board should receive the strongest penalties under the law. “It’s a small fine, but it’s important to do that as a precedent,” he said. He also suggested that a judge consider nullifying the board’s actions at the meeting.
Ralph Jaffe, a former Baltimore County government teacher who filed a complaint with the open meetings board, declared the regents’ admission a “victory for the principles of ethics.”
Paulson said he could not discuss the issue because it is subject to an investigation by the Maryland Open Meetings Compliance Board, which will evaluate Jaffe’s complaint. The three-member board is independent from the attorney general’s office, although it is assisted by members of the office, Paulson said.
That compliance board will await a reply to Jaffe’s charges from the board of regents, then issue an opinion within 30 days. It holds no power to punish violators, but does actively work to ensure that they better understand the law and uphold it in the future.