- Associated Press - Saturday, January 21, 2017

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A General Assembly ethics committee has hired outside counsel to help with its review of a lawmaker who was a leading advocate for medical marijuana while working as a consultant for an aspiring medical marijuana business.

Media outlets report that Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller disclosed the hiring of the special counsel on Friday. He told The Baltimore Sun that the unusual move “means we take the case very seriously.”

Tim Maloney, a lawyer representing Morhaim, says Miller’s revelation was an overreaction to Gov. Larry Hogan’s announcement on Thursday of bills to overhaul ethics and transparency laws. Maloney says he was told the special counsel was needed because committee staff had a potential conflict of interest since they advised Morhaim on how to handle his relationship with the company.

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