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News roundup: Former campaign treasurer gets 6 months, tributes for Lamone and Braveboy, Broadwater honored, and more

A view of the State House on the final day of the 2023 General Assembly session. Photo by William F. Zorzi.

The former campaign treasurer to two former Baltimore County elected officials will spend six months in jail after pleading guilty to theft and perjury.

Baltimore County Circuit Court Judge Robert E. Cahill on Monday sentenced William Christopher McCollum, 52, of Lutherville, to five years in jail with all but six months suspended.

McCollum pleaded guilty in May to one count of felony theft scheme and perjury connected to the theft of more than $125,000 from two campaign accounts. During that hearing he provided more than $125,000 in restitution to the campaign account of former Baltimore County Councilmember Cathy Bevins (D), and the Baltimore County Victory Slate, a campaign account operated by James T. Smith Jr. (D), former two-term Baltimore County executive, circuit court judge and one-time top aide to disgraced former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh (D).

In May, McCollum’s attorney told the judge the restitution was meant “to show (McCollum’s) remorse and start his redemptive process.”

The Office of the State Prosecutor charged McCollum in February with 21 counts including felony theft and embezzlement.

In those charges, prosecutors alleged McCollum stole more than $110,000 from Bevins campaign account between April 23, 2015, and Jan. 31, 2020. The charges further alleged he stole more than $31,000 from the Baltimore County Victory Slate. McCollum served as treasurer on both campaign accounts.

McCollum faced up to a year in jail.

Cahill acknowledged McCollum’s efforts to pay restitution at the time of his plea but said it was important to send a message of deterrence to the next treasurer who might consider stealing from a campaign account.

McCollum, who turns 53 in August, will begin serving his sentence on Sept. 18.

Lamone honored by elections director association

Maryland’s long-serving Elections Director Linda Lamone was honored by a national elections organization for her more than 25 years of service.

Linda Lamone

“Linda is one of the greats in our field,” said National Association of State Election Directors President Rob Rock. “Her contributions to election administration at the national level are too many to count. I’ve often said she belongs on the Mount Rushmore of elections, and NASED has been proud to count her among our members. There’s probably not a single state or territory in the United States that hasn’t benefited from her knowledge and experiences, including my own state of Rhode Island. I’m thrilled that we’re honoring Linda’s contributions to our organization and to the entire election community.”

Lamone received the association’s Elaine Manlove Award for Distinguished Service during the organization’s conference last week in Washington, D.C.

The award is named for a Delaware state election commissioner who was killed in a 2020 car accident the day before the 2020 presidential election.

Lamone, the second-longest serving elections director in the nation, announced her retirement in March. She will remain in the position until September.

The Maryland State Board of Elections named Jared DeMarinis, the current director of candidacy and campaign finance, to succeed Lamone.

And many happy returns

Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha N. Braveboy (D) is hardly the only elected official in America to make a big deal about their birthday — or use the birthday as a fundraising opportunity.

Braveboy, who turned 49 on Saturday, has been hyping her birthday fundraiser, at The Grove Restaurant at Oak Creek in Upper Marlboro on Aug. 10, for several weeks now. Ticket prices start at $50 and it costs $1,000 to be an event sponsor.

But even more eye-raising is the birthday greeting that employees of the Prince George’s County state’s attorney’s office sent their boss Sunday in the Prince George’s County Maryland Daily Digest Bulletin, an informational email that the office sends out.

The greeting featured a picture of a smiling Braveboy surrounded by balloons, confetti, ribbons and popped champagne corks. The message read: “We are screaming HAPPY BIRTHDAY to State’s Attorney Braveboy!!

“State’s Attorney Braveboy, you are not just a leader, but a beacon of innovation and integrity. Your dedication to our community is truly remarkable, revolutionizing the justice system with your tireless pursuit of equity and justice for all. The impact of your advocacy for transformative laws resonates deeply in the lives of those we serve. Your accomplishments are vast, but what excites us most is the anticipation of the extraordinary contributions you’ll continue to make.

“As you celebrate your 49th birthday, our wish for you is unending success and boundless blessings. Happy Birthday, and here’s to another year of groundbreaking leadership!”

Remembering Broadwater

Speaking of Prince George’s County political leaders, the funeral for former state Sen. Tommie Broadwater (D), who died July 11 at the age of 81, is taking place Tuesday morning. Broadwater, who served from 1974 to 1983, was the first Black state senator elected from Prince George’s County.

The funeral will be held at the First Baptist Church of Glenarden Worship Center, 600 Watkins Park Drive in Upper Marlboro. The viewing begins at 9:30 a.m. and the service is at 11 a,m. The service will be live-streamed.

The late Sen. Tommie Broadwater lies in state July 31 at Prince George’s County Administration Building. Photo by William J. Ford.

The printed program can be viewed on Tuesday at

Broadwater’s body lay in state in the lobby of the Prince George’s County Administration Building in Upper Marlboro on Monday.

BOOST funding set

A Maryland advisory board approved $8.55 million in scholarships Monday for an ongoing program that allows low-income students to continue to attend private schools during this upcoming school year.

The funding represents nearly 2,4000 families who already received money from the program called Broadening Opportunities for Options and Opportunities for Students Today, or BOOST.

This fiscal year’s allocation is set at $9.08 million, so the remaining estimate left to award scholarships for more families is about $526,000.

Last year, the BOOST program was budgeted at $10 million with scholarships for about 3,300 students.

The advisory board on Monday asked staff with the state Department of Education to conduct an “accelerated review” of 665 applications submitted that were either incomplete or ineligible “to ensure that there weren’t opportunities to cure, correct, or include those in the base renewals,” Board Chair Matt Gallagher said as he read a motion before the board’s unanimous vote. The goal is to complete the review in one or two weeks.

After that, the advisory board will assess how much scholarship money could be awarded to any eligible siblings of current recipients.

Funds must be committed by Dec. 15.

More than 160 private schools participate in the program, including about 35 in Baltimore County, 28 in Montgomery County and 26 in Baltimore City.

The state received about 7,000 BOOST applications submitted between May 11 and June 30.

Disagreement over continued funding of the BOOST program between some lawmakers in the Democratically controlled General Assembly caused a brief dispute during budget negotiations near the end of this year’s legislative session.

Gov. Wes Moore’s proposed budget would have decreased the BOOST program to $8 million and begin to phase it out, while pumping more money into public schools for the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future education reform plan.

Garrett O’Day, deputy director with the Maryland Catholic Conference, told the BOOST board Monday that demand for the program far outstrips the available funding. He said about $18 million is needed.

“There was double the [current] allocation demand and as many new applicants as we’ve seen in the past…over the last seven, eight years,” he said. “As somebody speaking on behalf of the parents and kids, especially the kids, thank you.”

The advisory board scheduled its next meeting for 10 a.m. Nov. 8.


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News roundup: Former campaign treasurer gets 6 months, tributes for Lamone and Braveboy, Broadwater honored, and more