The Anne Arundel County Ethics Commission administers the Public Ethics Law. It is an independent agency, performing its duties and responsibilities without the oversight of the county government. It is served by a staff of two part-time employees, an executive director who is a lawyer licensed to practice law in Maryland, and an assistant to the commission.
The Members of the Commission
The members of the Anne Arundel County Ethics Commission are volunteers. Three of the members are nominated by the county council and four are selected by the county executive, subject to the approval of the county council. . Each member serves a four-year term, and no more than four members may belong to the same political party. The Anne Arundel County Charter, Article X, Section 1001 establishes the qualifications for membership on the commission as follows:
- A commission member must be a resident of Anne Arundel County
- A commission member may not hold and may not be a candidate for an elected or appointed office of the federal, state, or local government or a political party
- A commission member may not be an employee of the federal, state, or local government or a political party
- A commission member may not be a lobbyist required to register under any federal, state, or local public ethics law
- A commission member may not participate in the campaign of a candidate for elective office, or support or oppose a ballot question at any general or special election, except a question directly affecting the commission
Craig A. Reynolds is a retired educator from the Anne Arundel County Public School System. He served as a teacher and high school administrator for thirty-one years. He also served for three years as a commissioned police officer and is a graduate of the Maryland Police Training Commission. Mr. Reynolds has a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts and a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from the University of Maryland. His master’s degree in administration and supervision is from The Johns Hopkins University. He is a life long Maryland resident and has lived in Anne Arundel County since 1974. Mr. Reynolds is a registered Democrat.
Katherine K Cawood is a semi-retired attorney. She graduated from Georgetown Law in 1961 and was admitted to the Maryland Bar that fall. After practicing law in Annapolis for many years, she moved her office to her home, "Evergreen" in southern Anne Arundel County. She is the widow of The Honorable James C. Cawood, Jr. who was on the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County for many years. Mrs. Cawood and her husband have seven children and 12 grandchildren. She is a registered Democrat.
Emerson C. Davis is a retired police officer with the Anne Arundel County Police Department. He retired as Deputy Chief of Police after serving 35 years. He has served as an Ex-Officio member of the Anne Arundel County Commission on Disability Issues and the Anne Arundel County Mental Health Commission. Mr. Davis has earned a Bachelor’s Degree from York College of Pa. in Criminal Justice and a Master’s Degree from Johns Hopkins University in Applied Behavioral Science and Leadership. He is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy. Mr. Davis, born and raised in Pennsylvania, has lived in Anne Arundel County since 1976 and resides in Arnold with his wife Donna. He has two grown sons. Mr. Davis is a registered Republican.
Jonathan P. Kagan is a trial attorney who has been in private practice in Anne Arundel County since 1993. He graduated cum laude from Boston University and with honors from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. After law school, Mr. Kagan clerked for the Honorable Robert H. Heller, Jr. on the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County. He is a past President of the Anne Arundel County Bar Association, and the Chair-elect of the Litigation Section of the Maryland State Bar Association. Mr. Kagan serves on the Board of Trustees of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra and the Anne Arundel County Advisory Board of BB&T Bank. He is the former Vice Chairman of the Ethics Commission for the City of Annapolis. Mr. Kagan resides in Annapolis with his wife Marnie and his two children. He is a registered Democrat.
Carol S. Lewnes is a real estate appraiser with Maryland Appraisal Network, a company she founded. She attended Centenary College in Hackettstown, New Jersey, and worked for 10 years as a flight attendant for United Airlines. Ms. Lewnes is a registered Republican.
Donna McCabe Schaeffer is a family law attorney who has been in private practice in Anne Arundel County since 1986. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University, Cum Laude, in 1980 and from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1985, With Honor. Following her law school graduation, Ms. Schaeffer clerked for The Honorable James F. Couch, Jr. on the Maryland Court of Appeals from 1985 to 1986. Ms. Schaeffer resides in Annapolis with her husband, Kevin, and their three children. She is a registered Republican.
Betsy K. Dawson, the executive director, is a lawyer admitted to practice in the State of Maryland, the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, and the 4th Circuit United States Court of Appeals. She has worked for the Ethics Commission since 1996. Ms. Dawson is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and the Case-Western Reserve University School of Law .
Gina Scerbo, who joined the staff as the commission secretary in August, 2007, has over 20 years of secretarial experience. Ms. Scerbo is a native of South County and resides in Dunkirk with her husband and two daughters.