A new legislative audit knocks State Archivist Edward C. Papenfuse for taking part in several transactions involving an atlas that he co-wrote and in which he has a direct personal interest.
According to the audit, Papenfuse owns the copyright to the Maryland State Archives Atlas of Historical Maps of Maryland, which was recently enhanced and reprinted.
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The audit found that Papenfuse used a State Archives letterhead to solicit foundation funding to finance the book's reprinting, and grants totaling $100,000 were awarded to the archives for the project.
Papenfuse and his co-author entered into a publishing contract executed in their names that was not provided for review to the Attorney General's Office. The agreement provided for potential royalties after the sale of 3,000 books, the audit said.
"There is, at a minimum, the appearance of a conflict of interest related to this matter," the audit concluded.
Papenfuse contends the audit's assessment was "in error."
In a written response, he said that "the intellectual property of the map book" was his because he wrote and published it 20 years ago on his own time. All additional work was also done on his time, he said.
Papenfuse added that all "monetary benefit" from the book is going to the state. He said that will amount to $60,000 when the press run is sold out.
"Neither the archivist nor any member of his family . . . will receive any money from a gift that the archivist and the donor made to the state," Papenfuse wrote.
There were more twists and turns last week in the saga of tailgate-gate.
On Monday, College Park City Council member John Krouse hand-delivered a signed ethics complaint against state Sen. John A. Giannetti Jr. (D-Prince George's) to the Joint Committee for Legislative Ethics, based on the senator's promotion of the tailgate parties he held before University of Maryland football games.
In it, Krouse questioned whether Giannetti's bashes violated laws against public consumption of alcohol and serving alcohol to minors -- something Giannetti says he has never done. Krouse also questioned whether the senator used his power to procure alcohol donations from local distributors.
"While residents of College Park might expect life in a college town to involve some inconvenience, they have every legitimate reason to expect their state senator to set an example of good citizenship and not to recklessly promote the conversion of public parking lots of the university into a gigantic 10,000-car party zone on game days," Krouse said.
"Senator Giannetti's behavior is inexcusable and ought to be condemned," he added.