Monday, November 5, 2018

Riemer charged taxpayers for private meetings with donors, violated ex parte communications rules

Developers had projects
before Council in Westbard,
Bethesda Downtown 
sector plans

Exclusive investigative report

Montgomery County Council President Hans Riemer has met privately with developers who donated to his Council campaigns, and charged taxpayers for his travel costs to those private meetings, according to Montgomery County Council reimbursement records. Riemer also did not disclose these private, ex parte communications at the next Council meeting, as he is required to do. Like all Council members, Riemer sits as a land-use commissioner when the Council votes on land-use and zoning issues as the "District Council."
Riemer meets Westbard developer privately
at La Madeleine, who then donates money
to Riemer's campaign, and Riemer then
charges taxpayers for his gas money to and from
the meeting, Council records show
Riemer met with Evan Goldman of EYA privately at La Madeleine restaurant in downtown Bethesda on October 21, 2016. On January 8, 2018, Goldman made a $150 contribution to Riemer's Council campaign. Riemer was an outspoken supporter of EYA's Westbard project, and of the Westbard sector plan that was overwhelmingly opposed by residents, which financially benefited EYA and partner Regency Centers.

Riemer met with Larry Walker of The Walker Group privately at Clyde's Tower Oaks restaurant on October 31, 2016. Walker has contributed $2400 to Riemer's campaigns, including $100 in May 2017.
Riemer demands reimbursement from
taxpayers for his private meeting with
downtown Bethesda developer who had
given him almost $1000
Riemer met with Charles Nulsen of Washington Property Company privately at WPC's headquarters in Bethesda on March 8, 2017. Nulsen has donated at least $970.70 to Riemer's campaigns.

Riemer requested reimbursement from taxpayers for all three private meetings with his donors, according to Council records.

It's no secret Hans Riemer is cozy with developers, as his voting record and campaign finance reports clearly show. But even an ethically-corrupt politician like Riemer cannot be allowed to charge taxpayers for private meetings with his campaign donors, nor to violate ex parte communications rules. Private meetings with donors can only be paid for with political campaign funds, not taxpayer funds.

Local media, including The Washington Post, have refused to report on this late-breaking scandal I uncovered. In fact, the Post's Montgomery County political reporter Jennifer Barrios hasn't written a single sentence about the County Council At-Large general election race. Intriguingly, while the Post has declined to investigate any of the scandals I've forwarded to Barrios and reporter Robert McCartney throughout the election, it dispatched a reporter at the 11th hour to write a hit piece on a Republican in Anne Arundel County regarding a...developer scandal (which is a nothingburger compared to the scandals of Riemer, others on the Council, and the Planning Board).

The question is, why does the Post not want you to know about the questionable activities of Hans Riemer and other Montgomery County officials? This is a question that must be answered, regardless of the outcome of Tuesday's election. Secondly, the State Board of Elections and Montgomery County Office of the Inspector General should investigate Riemer's activities, which appear to be violations of both ethics rules and campaign finance laws.

Third, it's time for voters to oust Riemer on Tuesday, and his cartel-funded running mates Gabe Albornoz, Evan Glass and Will Jawando, who each have received thousands of dollars from developers.

1 comment:

  1. Is there some reason he has not been barred from being on the Council?