Ciliberti takes office as delegate after paying campaign fines

Maryland House Speaker Michael Busch, left, swears in Delegate Barrie Ciliberti, center, a Republican who represents parts of Frederick and Carroll counties, as Ciliberti’s wife, Pamela, watches Wednesday in Annapolis.

ANNAPOLIS — A college professor from Urbana claimed his position as Frederick County’s newest state delegate on Wednesday, taking his oath of office despite a last-minute snag related to several campaign finance infractions.

His wife at his side, Barrie Ciliberti assumed his legislative role with a brief ceremony in the House of Delegates chambers, where just minutes later Gov. Larry Hogan would deliver his first State of the State address. Earlier this week, Hogan chose Ciliberti to fill the seat recently relinquished by Kelly Schulz, who took a job in the governor’s Cabinet.

Ciliberti said he was delighted to accept the appointment as District 4 delegate, the office he unsuccessfully sought in last year’s elections.

“The campaign was over June 24, but it really didn’t end until two days ago,” Ciliberti said after he took the oath of office.

For Ciliberti, Wednesday was something of an “emotional tsunami,” from Hogan’s speech to the standing ovation he received from fellow lawmakers on the House floor, he said.

However, the day got off to a bit of a rough start. The 78-year-old Republican was initially scheduled to be sworn in at 10 a.m., but the ceremony was delayed for more than an hour so he could deal with outstanding campaign finance issues related to last year’s delegate bid.

Wednesday morning, online state election records showed Ciliberti’s campaign owed $640 in fines because of tardy or missing finance reports.

One of these violations was referred to the Maryland Office of the State Prosecutor, the elections website showed Wednesday morning. A representative of the state prosecutor’s office would not comment on whether his agency was investigating the infractions.

Later in the day, the online election records showed all of Ciliberti’s campaign violations had been closed.

A state elections official said Ciliberti on Wednesday morning paid his outstanding fines and filed two missing campaign finance reports. Ciliberti is now in full compliance with campaign finance requirements, said Jared DeMarinis, the state’s director of candidacy and campaign finance.

Ciliberti later said the campaign issues turned into a “tempest in a teapot” and were resolved within five minutes.

Delegate Kathy Afzali, who chairs the county’s delegation to Annapolis, downplayed Ciliberti’s missing reports as a “paperwork issue” that was easily resolved.

“Campaign finance is one of those things that’s the thorn in every delegate and senator’s side,” said Afzali, R-District 4. “As you know, we have regulations in the state of Maryland, and it’s very hard as a delegate and a senator to know every one of those.”

Afzali said she is glad the election is over and that Frederick County finally has a full contingent of state representatives. Schulz resigned her seat when Hogan took office last month.

Ciliberti, an associate professor at Bowie State University who served a stint in the state Legislature in the 1990s, was nominated as Schulz’s replacement by Republican committees in both Carroll and Frederick counties, the jurisdictions that encompass District 4.

Ciliberti’s arrival to Annapolis was welcomed Wednesday by Delegate David E. Vogt III, who said he was glad to move on from what ended up being a contentious search for Schulz’s replacement.

“I’m glad that the turmoil is over,” said Vogt, another Republican representing District 4. “Now, we’ve got somebody we’ve got to unite behind.”

Follow Bethany Rodgers on Twitter: @BethRodgersFNP.

(23) comments

BstD59

Afzali is quoted as saying "“Campaign finance is one of those things that’s the thorn in every delegate and senator’s side, “As you know, we have regulations in the state of Maryland, and it’s very hard as a delegate and a senator to know every one of those.”

That is incredibly misleading. The campaign finance laws are not complicated or mysterious. Why is it every other candidate manages to file properly? Of course I'm not surprised to hear Afzali's comment, after all as I've said before, if she had a brain she would be dangerous.

jill king

Wow! Rarely do I agree with the majority of the comments.

The FCRCC and CCRCC refused to do their due diligence. Neither listened to the voters and pushed a name through, for strengthening the Houghzali slate.

I can understand why a professor with a PhD doesn't understand when his homework is due.

ReadPhred

"a last-minute snag", "a “paperwork issue” that was easily resolved."
"outstanding campaign finance issues related to last year’s delegate bid"
"resolved within five minutes"

First this was not a last minute snag, it goes back to last year. And if it was so easy to resolve, why wasn't it done so before?

"now in full compliance with campaign finance requirements, said Jared DeMarinis, the state’s director of candidacy and campaign finance"

If he is only now in compliance with state candidacy and campaign finance rules why was he even selected and why was he allowed to run last year? He should never been allowed to be a candidate this year or last.

"the state prosecutor’s office would not comment on whether his agency was investigating the infractions"

This is understandable but I hope not a brush off. Both he and the system that allowed his candidacy to go forward without compliance should be investigated. But I doubt we will here of this again. The administration will likely try to bury it. And the FNP will likely not follow up

And my usual beef, why do FNP reporters ape what is told to them and not ask the obvious questions. If it only took 5 minutes to resolve and no big issue, why wasn't this taken care of a long time ago? Why was he even considered or a candidate prior to this being resolved.

Continual ethics issues!!!

dcg326

Gee even Holter did not pay income tax,Oh ok with democrats ,not this of course he's a republican.rave on.good for all, not just democrats.

timothygaydos

This BS needs to stop now with any politician being able to pretend that they are squeaky clean. Yes, I am hoping that both Brinkley and Schulz do well for Hogan and Hogan does similar to what Walker did in Wisconsin. If he can convince the voters that he has MD on the right track and redistricts some of the poorly gerrymandering districts in this state; then voters will start to have balance in the state legislature. Until then he is fighting the establishment of liberals, government unions, and those groups that rather fight for the illegals, gangs, and other unsavory elements.

matts853

So how did this go unnoticed until the morning of his swearing in? There are plenty of disaffected "Republicans" in FC, like the ones who protested outside Rand Weinberg's office, that most likely outed him, I'm guessing? Not that I'm defending those folks or the FCRCC in any way. I'm a Republican, but I find it hard to relate to these people personally or politically. I also don't think they represent the values of honesty, integrity, and ethics that the R party purports to hold so dear. The old guard FC Republicans need to go, however I think Brinkley and Shulz may do a good job for Hogan.

timothygaydos

Not sloppy at all. Ciliberti knew what he owed and there is no excuse for not having these fines paid by now and the reports filed. As a conservative, find this behavior inexcusable considering he was being considered for some time now. I wonder how long these fines would have went unpaid if he did not get the nomination to fill this position? The election that he was involved with has been over for some time. Whether it was a paper snafu or not; ethics do come to play with it; because again since June of 2014 this has been a known issue and we are now in Feb. of 2015. If the man cannot keep a simple accounting of his campaign, how does he do the job?

Wrong choice, but that is politics at its finest!

dcg326

Plenty ,to put in, many can be had.Good ones too.[wink]

stjohn42

A sloppy job by all parties involved, although to be fair this sounds more like late paperwork rather than some sort of ethical crisis. That said, maybe next time these folks will clean that up _first_ so they don't embarrass themselves again.

MAVRICKinc7

Ask yourself. Who do you trust with the rest of your life? We can talk about the lie all we want, but government and political standards of conduct are still for sale to the highest bidder. Was it not the Republican party that paid for Ciliberti's indiscretions and make it all go away to the short term memory of the Frederick County population. Aren't we the same fools we've continued to be, from from yesterday to today or the last 4 years? Is there no end to the lies we tell ourselves from one day to the next?

Comment deleted.
MAVRICKinc7

What import or consequences of anything you just said, bring US closer to one another, other than more division and devisive schemes we continue to perpetuate under the terms and conditions of what you claim to be the truth, when translation of your words bring us back to the same lies and political rhetoric that is always featured on our social media and TV screens? Aren't you the same Republican that you've always been? Aren't you just another foregone conclusion and firmly against what comes of listening to any side of a discussion, other than your own?

Hayduke2

That this would be an issue speaks volumes about the vetting process, the man's integrity and the state of politics. This should be enough to go back to the drawing board.

ken_berlin

A great vetting job by Hogan and his associates.

sej58

Looks like the Frederick Rep. Central Committee DID NOT do their homework and this was an obvious appointment based on what IS NOT the best thing for the voters of Frederick County.

newspostreader

Would he have resolved these issues had he not been appointed? Maybe, but probably not. And these are the people we allow to represent us. Scary!

MAVRICKinc7

AND, will remain so until the PEOPLE take their government back from those born to lying, ethics violations and the distrust of a County population.

b1sellers

My thoughts exactly newspostreader.

girlpolitic

I don't have a good feeling about this.

And to think he was previously in the General Assembly - he should have known better.

richardlyons

Did our new Gov no about these "issues" before he made his choice? [sad]

phydeaux994

I bet Hough did and didn't care that he was a cheater.

FrederickVeteran

A thug with suit.

armillary

Ciliberti's fines and incomplete reporting to the Maryland State Board of Elections were not uncovered by the Frederick County Republican Central Committee in their selection process. Ideology trumps ethics once again.

b1sellers

Sadly this is true [sad]

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