As evidence that it was a personal loan to his campaign, he stressed that when the $50,000 loan was first reported in 2010, his campaign categorized it on the reporting form as a “candidate loan,” rather than coming from an outside source.
Vallario told The Washington Post that his campaign has yet to repay the loan and offered no timetable for when it might. The loan was solicited in late 2009 because, Vallario said, he “was going into a campaign” and “had to spend a lot of money.”
Under state elections law, a campaign’s chairman and treasurer are ultimately responsible for ensuring the accuracy of a campaign committee’s disclosure reports to the Board of Elections. Vallario’s committee lists the candidate’s wife, Mary T. Vallario, as the campaign chairman. Barbara J. Proden, a longtime secretary in Vallario’s law practice, is listed as the treasurer.
The ethics complaint against Vallario, filed in April, centers on a bill passed in 2011 intended to make it easier to prosecute vehicular manslaughter cases.
Henry, the Prince George’s woman whose daughter was killed in a hit-and-run involving an SUV, said that in advocating for the legislation, she told Vallario many details about her daughter’s 2010 death that she never would have had she known that his son would represent the driver.
Vallario has said he did nothing wrong. He told The Post last month that he and his son maintain separate law practices and that he was not involved in the defense of the driver.
Vallario’s law practice is often referred to as Vallario & Collins, but Vallario has said that Vallario & Collins is not a formal entity. Several lawyers who work out of the same office as Vallario, including his son, use the Vallario & Collins letterhead, Vallario said. And the practice, he said, maintains an escrow account in the name of Vallario & Collins.
After meeting in closed session for 40 minutes Wednesday, members of the Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics declined to publicly discuss the status of the deliberations. Neither Vallario nor Henry was asked to appear before the committee.