“No elected official has the right to abuse and belittle others,” Rosenberg read from the resolution of reprimand, which passed in a unanimous vote.
“Delegate Jalisi has breached the standards of conduct expected by members of this General Assembly by bullying and verbally abusing his staff, other members’ staff, General Assembly staff, and staff outside the General Assembly, and doing so in an unprofessional and belligerent manner,” Rosenberg said. “We do not tolerate this behavior.”
The 16-page ethics report on Jalisi’s behavior, released Monday night, details incidents in which aides complained of being yelled at, forced to work long hours without pay, and treated as truant if they went to the restroom or to get lunch. At least one incident escalated to the point where state troopers had to intervene, according to the report.
Jalisi allegedly called one person “stupid” and made the person “stand in the delegate’s office and repeat, ‘I am incompetent. I am incompetent.’ ”
Jalisi did not testify in his defense during the committee’s investigation, which included interviews with 38 people under oath, including people connected to the legislature and workers at a local hotel.
The delegate submitted a written response denying the allegations, and in a statement sent to reporters just after midnight Tuesday called the investigation a “smear campaign” and “sham investigation.”
He was not available for an interview Wednesday.
Last fall, House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) warned Jalisi that he would not be permitted to hire staff for the 2019 General Assembly session unless he completed anger management courses, the report said. Jalisi did not complete the courses, but hired staff anyway. Those employees have not been paid.
Jalisi is the second Maryland lawmaker punished this year over accusations of serious misconduct. Del. Mary Ann Lisanti (D-Harford) was censured last month for using a racial epithet to describe a Prince George’s County legislative district. She was stripped of her committee assignments but has refused calls to step down, saying she wants to remain in office and address the hurt she caused.