Amid the many things that failed in the frantic final hours of Maryland’s legislative session on Monday, there was one no lawmaker protested: A last-minute change that could have helped a state lawmaker reinstate his real estate license was killed by a committee and affirmed unanimously by the General Assembly.
Del. Tony McConkey (R-Anne Arundel) last week authored, voted for and saw passage by the House of Delegates of a measure that could have helped him win back the license he lost in 2010, after the state determined that he had preyed on homeowners in foreclosure.
In one instance, the state found McConkey promised to help a woman keep her home, then didn’t return her calls, bought her property in foreclosure and sought to evict her.
Under the measure by McConkey, he and others could have entered long-term payment plans to replenish a state fund used to compensate consumers who suffer financial losses as a result of actions by Maryland real estate professionals. Three of McConkey’s clients were paid a combined $75,000 from the fund, making his debt to the fund the largest of any real estate licensee in the past five years.
After the Washington Post first reported the existence of McConkey’s amendment last week, the Senate refused to accept it. The measure was struck from a bill that lawmakers said had to pass. Without it, the Real Estate Commission, which licenses the state’s 41,000 real estate brokers and other industry professionals, would cease to exist July 1.
Late Monday, the stripped down version of the bill passed 47-0 in the Senate and 138-0 in the House. McConkey voted for it.