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Nominees to state ethics, racing panels among dozens of new Moore appointments sent to the Senate

The Maryland State House dome is seen through a window near the Tiffany glass dome in the Miller Senate Office Building. Photo by Danielle E. Gaines.

Gov. Wes Moore (D) sent to the state Senate on Friday the names of 67 nominees to serve on state boards and commissions.

The Senate has been churning through nominees for the new governor’s Cabinet and other state positions since mid-February, and the confirmation process will continue through the scheduled end of the General Assembly session on April 10.

Moore on Friday nominated individuals to serve on everything from the Commission on African American History and Culture to the Wicomico County Liquor Control Board.

Among the new picks:

  • Mariela Olivares to serve on the five-member State Ethics Commission. Olivares, who lives in Silver Spring, is a professor at Howard University Law School in Washington, D.C., and heads the school’s Family Law Certificate Program. If confirmed, Olivares would replace Janet McHugh, an appointee of former Gov. Larry Hogan (R) who is currently serving as commission chair.
  • George Mahoney, Terry West and Ellen Zavian to serve on the State Racing Commission. Mahoney, a lifelong horseman who owns a horse farm, is the son of the late George P. Mahoney, the controversial Democratic gubernatorial nominee in 1966 whose campaign slogan was “Your home is your castle.” Warren is a former jockey and horse jump competitor. Zavian is the general counsel for USA Lacrosse and is an expert on sports law and business development.
  • Moore also reappointed two members of the University of Maryland Medical System Board of Directors: Elisa Basnight, an attorney and executive at the American Red Cross in Washington, D.C., and former Prince George’s County state Sen. Doug Peters.

“These individuals bring exceptional knowledge and ability to the offices for which they have been nominated,” Moore said in a letter introducing his nominees to Senate President Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore City).

The Senate Executive Nominations Committee will hold confirmation hearings Monday for 21 previously announced Moore nominees for state boards and commissions, including architect Lee Coplan to serve on the Maryland Stadium Authority. The panel will also consider the nominations of 49 other appointees who will not be appearing in Annapolis on Monday.

The Executive Nominations Committee may also debate the nomination of businesswoman Maria Martinez to serve on the Stadium Authority. Her nomination was put on hold earlier this week after Maryland Matters reported on her extensive financial troubles through the years.

Another controversial Moore nominee, Lt. Col. Roland L. Butler Jr. to serve as superintendent of the state police, is expected to have his confirmation hearing on March 27.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct the name of one of the appointees to the Maryland Racing Commission.


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Nominees to state ethics, racing panels among dozens of new Moore appointments sent to the Senate