David Brinkley

David Brinkley 

A Mount Airy man has asked the state ethics commission to investigate a report that Sen. David Brinkley improperly used campaign funds.

In a posting last week, the conservative blog Red Maryland suggested that Brinkley personally benefited from a $4,000 payment to one of his staffers.

The blog, which has endorsed Brinkley’s opponent in the Republican primary election, posted numerous documents to support several of its allegations.

Jason Miller, the man who submitted the complaint, said he doesn’t know how the blog came to possess the documents and added that he is not sure whether the allegations against Brinkley are well-founded.

“I thought that it was rather convincing. However, I also believe that that’s for the ethics commission to decide,” he said in a phone interview.

According to the blog post, the staffer received the $4,000 payment Dec. 21, 2007, and the same day made a financial investment processed by Brinkley through his firm. Red Maryland posted campaign finance reports listing the payment to the staffer, Jacqueline Nigh.

The blog also produced a copy of a $4,000 check written by Nigh to Pacific Life Insurance Co. and documents showing that Brinkley was her registered representative. Brinkley works as an estate and financial planner.

The blogger claims that Brinkley received a bonus for the transaction but did not provide documents supporting the assertion.

Brinkley said he has not seen the complaint or the Red Maryland article but is aware that the blog supports Delegate Michael Hough.

“I guess they’re obviously in his camp, so they’re doing his bidding,” said Brinkley, R-District 4.

He declined to comment about the allegations made in the blog post.

Hough, Brinkley’s rival for the District 4 Senate seat, said he did not give Red Maryland the information used in the article.

Miller wrote in his complaint that the transactions described by Red Maryland could violate state code that bars elected officials from using their prestige of office for private gain.

State ethics guidelines indicate that this portion of the law forbids officials from using their legislative titles for private gain or invoking their elected position when endorsing a business or product. The law also directs officials to use legislative correspondence only for official business.

Miller said he decided to forward his concerns to the Maryland State Ethics Commission because of a complaint recently filed against Hough, R-District 3B.

In that complaint, an Emmitsburg man raised concerns that Hough was using state resources to campaign in District 4. Hough has been sending out birthday notes on official state letterhead to county residents in the area he is running to represent, the Emmitsburg man said.

If the birthday notes were worth a complaint, then the blog’s claims certainly deserve a harder look, Miller argues.

At one point, Miller was running against Brinkley, but pulled out when Hough entered the race. He said he is a Hough supporter but felt comfortable that the ethics commission would take any bias out of the equation during its review.

An ethics violation could erode trust in Brinkley’s leadership, Miller said.

“As far as an ethics breach, on every level, it causes the voting public to lose faith in their elected officials,” he said.

Hough said he didn’t tell Miller to send in the complaint and that his criticism of Brinkley has focused on the senator’s voting record. However, he said the allegations in Miller’s complaint were serious.

Follow Bethany Rodgers on Twitter: @BethRodgersFNP.

(20) comments

jill king

It is one thing to bring to press a wrong doing by a politician that acts alone. It is quite another to disclose a presumed innocent third party in a private matter.

When this tall tale plays out, who will have the damages?

News2Me

Good point! Seems to me that Ms. Nigh is the one who may have recourse here against Red Maryland and Mr. Kline, assuming she did not voluntarily release and agree to disclose these documents to the press. If I were Mr. Kline, I'd be finding myself a good lawyer.

jill king

Red Maryland's readership must be down in Frederick County. Maybe they should try to flip some of their democrat legislators, instead of deciding from Central Maryland and the Eastern Shore who is best for Frederick County.

Someone should look into Victory in 3B PAC. Greg probably thought I would beat him to it on filing.

jgrose79

Hough is slime. He is using any dirty means to try to get elected. He can't run on anything he has accomplished so he tries to smear someone. Whoopditty do. Hough should move to another state. When he loses the election and is back in the private sector I will personally try to encourage him to get out of town because we do not want him here. He is a turncoat.

darththevader

"... he doesn’t know how the blog came to possess the documents and added that he is not sure whether the allegations against Brinkley are well-founded."

Really??? How Mooney is this?

jerseygrl42

brinkley is not to be trusted , awhile back PRIOR to the final public hearing on the $3 Billion poison machine known as an incinerator, brinkley sent a clandestine letter to MDE asking them to hurry up and approve the incinerator permits .....he also tried to get Del Hough to co-sign and Hough refused ...not only is brinkley in favor of poisoning the country side, the Bay and our children's lungs but apparently he also favors bankrupting us in the process

darththevader

WTE has what to do with this?

backroomfrederick

Its the billion dollar sticky trap most of our politicians have a foot in whether they admit it or not. The article is about Brinkley and jerseygrl42 provided background. He's not a good representative.

News2Me

It appears that the documents alleged to support this ridiculous "ethics" complaint were posted by Gregory M. Kline (an attorney) on behalf of Red Maryland. Can't help but wonder how these personal financial documents were obtained--legally, with consent? Or by theft? Even if they were obtained "legally" I suspect they were published without consent and without proper notice. Maybe an investigation into Red Maryland and Mr. Kline's conduct is in order. I would not be happy if my personal financial information were made public without my consent. There are laws that govern that kind of conduct--are Mr. Kline and Red Maryland violating the law?

GrumbleJones

Surprise, surprise! The mudslinging little Mooney disciple has unleashed his minion to conduct a smear campaign only weeks before the primary just as his cult’s Master taught him. And just as upstanding party members and good citizens of the county forced Mooney to flee with his carpetbag full of slimy tricks across the state line, so to will be the fate of this underhanded toady if Hough’s political chicanery continues to reveal his real character to the voters. The people of Frederick County and Maryland deserve better in the public servants we elect to represent us.

Thinkbig

Do we really want to put up with another Alex Mooney (Hough) for the next four years? Brinkley, please teach this punk a lesson.

jerseygrl42

brinkley is a 2 bit phony

GrumbleJones

Hough is a shifty, duplicitous Mooney lickspittle and his boss already got the message loud and clear that we don't want his ilk sullying our local party and community any more, so he should read the writing on the wall and make his concession speech now.

pixie-dust

It isn't unethical to pay people for working. Brinkley paid Nigh.

It isn't right to tell people with whom they can and cannot invest. Nigh's choice of who to invest with.

It actually is illegal for an insurance agent to rebate commissions (meaning Brinkley did not have the choice of not accepting payment for the sale of insurance or an annuity.)

It is a violation of all sorts of securities and insurnce regulations to reveal personal information. (The copy of the check.)

Yes, there should be an investigation -- but not of Brinkley.

OFMV

Gee Golly, is this where I chime in and ask about BlaineyoungforMaryland's $6,000 in campaign donations (wink) to Hough during the same period (Oct to Dec, 2013), Hough was sitting in as a guest radio show host for Blaine (away at Mt. St. Mary's)? A show who's sponsors pay wholly owned by Blaine Young, IMA (Interstate Mobile Advertising - Those annoying orange trucks featuring Drees Homes and Blaine's Campaign) to fund his air time?
The money games these fellas play in order to end up with campaign funds in their personal pockets is jaw dropping. That they point the finger at each other for doing it is down right comical. They must think developer money is free money. But those are your donations too friends. Check out Blaine's report filed this month to see where he pays his IMA company to advertise his own campaign. [ohmy]

tictac102

Like we didn't see this coming from hough, or that's right he has no idea how this information became available to a blogger that supports him, lol. Typical tactic of the progressive posing as a conservative, when you have nothing to offer you make a false attack and then instead of discussing issues you get the other person off topic and into damage control. It's what Harry Reid did to Romney with the whole, " I herd he didn't pay taxes" hough is nothing but a joke, there are pictures all over the internet with him posing with democratic strategist and supporters like Clinton campaign manager James Carville, sleeping on the job and in public meetings. Remember this about houg and these are truths. After he finished his couple years in the military, he went to college and then straight to work for carpet bagger alex mooney. Hough has never had a job outside of government, has no idea what people in the private sector struggle with, he like government guaranteed pay checks, benefits and pensions. He's just like john Kerry, he wants to be a life long politician, and now. He thinks after a term as a delegate he is ready for a pay raise, he hasn't even spent enough time in one office to prove himself or show his true colors, kinda like Obama. He and alex mooney have an interesting relationship, alex was sent packing when he lost and he blamed it on the third party candidate, when in fact alex was a horrible senator and ran a bad campaign. Then like Hillary, he packed his bags, left for another state and is trying to win in another state. Again, another wanna be career politician, just the people got wise to his nonsense, hough worked for alex straight no experience, just fresh out of college which he studied politics and based on his campaign, the tactics of saul alinsky. Was Alex's puppet for a few years, ran for delegate, let's don't forget, told everyone he was running for reelection to house of delegates, took donations based on that claim, posted signs based on the claim of running for reelection to the house of delegates, then after everyone took the bait, he switched at the last minute to the senate and began his attacks on sen Brinkley because hough has nothing to offer. Don't be fooled, hough is only looking out for himself and his guaranteed paycheck, benefits and pension nothing else.

DebtFree

Brinkley has been about as effective as Obama has been working with tea party confederates in Congress. my opinion.

Sourdoh1

Time to launch a probe.....

GrumbleJones

From the looks of it, I think Hough would enjoy a good probing!

skjer531

i'm sure hough would never tell a falsehood

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