Peter Shapiro, an unsuccessful candidate in 2010 for D.C. City Council, who for decades wielded extraordinary power over Democratic politics in the Prince George’s county was tapped to head the Prince George’s County Revenue Authority by former county Executive Rushern Baker in 2013. He was retained to the same role by current county Executive Angela Alsobrooks. Shapiro has now been nominated to be the next Prince George’s county Planning Board Chairman. Shapiro is currently in charge of the 100-person agency overseeing speed cameras, red light cameras, parking meters, and parking garages, and helps finance county construction projects, among other responsibilities with major ties to developers.
Shapiro, a Democrat, is a former member of the Prince George’s County Council and one time it’s former Chairman. He resigned in mid-term in 2004 to take a job at the University of Maryland. He also served on a task force examining ethics issues that Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) established in 2011. He lives in the District.
The revenue authority has an annual budget of about $44 million. Shapiro, who begun work at the 100-person agency, is being paid more than $150,000. His appointment was confirmed by the authority’s board.
During his tenure, there has been multifaceted scheme to use public positions for unlawful private gain by the county executives and others. His leadership in Prince George’s county for several decades appears to enhance county Executive’s Angela Alsobrooks’ political power and financial well-being while also generating income for his political allies and associates some in the same council he once served.
“This is another chapter in the sad story of corruption that has pervaded every corner of the Prince George’s county and the state of Maryland that was touched by Peter Shapiro and his Democrat enablers. He does not even live in the county why should he be used to assist criminal politicians to raise money from developers using the county for private gain,” Jim Michael said.
Corruption comprehends and encompasses many types of behaviors, such as bribery, extortion, cronyism, misuse of information, abuse of discretion, hiring close friends and others to advance an illegal scheme.
Political corruption is the use of powers by government officials or their network contacts for illegitimate private gain. Forms of corruption vary, but can include bribery, lobbying, extortion, cronyism, nepotism, parochialism, patronage, influence peddling, graft, and embezzlement.
Democratic elections have been assumed to play a crucial role in curbing corruption among public officials. Voters, due to their general distaste for corruption, are expected to sanction politicians who misuse public office for private gains. Yet, empirical evidence to date is mixed, and it often suggests that the electoral punishment of corruption is rather mild which drives some politicians in the county starting with County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, PGCPS CEO Monica Goldson and others to continue their shenanigan in the county.