Prince George's County Executive Rushern l. Baker, III Announces Prince George's County Accountability, Compliance, and Integrity (ACI) Task Force Co-chairs

WI Staff | 12/13/2010, 3:47 p.m.

Former Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke and retired Prince George's County Judge William Missouri to lead task force to review and recommend improved procedures and policies

Prince George's County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III announced former Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke and retired Prince George's County Circuit Court Judge William D. Missouri as co-chairs of the Prince George's County Government Accountability, Compliance, and Integrity (ACI) Task Force. The ACI Task Force is charged with reviewing current county oversight, researching best practices, and providing specific recommendations to County Executive Baker and the County Council.
"It is imperative that Prince George's County immediately reviews its internal procedures, and that we do so with the right model from the start," explained County Executive Baker. "We are incredibly fortunate to have Mayor Schmoke and Judge Missouri leading this task force. Both of these individuals have a wealth of knowledge to offer, as well as impeccable reputations for integrity and character in government."

"In our commitment to increased transparency in government, this Council strongly supports County Executive Baker's initiatives to achieve strong ethics and integrity in our government. We appreciate the willingness of former Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke and retired Judge William Missouri to lead this significant work," stated Prince George's Council Chairwoman, Ingrid Turner.

Judge Missouri and Former Mayor Schmoke both expressed their eagerness to serve. "As a Prince Georgian I am committed to assisting County Executive Baker as he strives to establish his plan for transparency in the Prince George's County Government," Judge Missouri stated.
Former Mayor Schmoke echoed these sentiments: "I am honored to work with the County Executive in fulfilling his promise to the citizens of Prince George's County to be 'first in integrity,'" he said.

The Prince George's County Government ACI Task Force will:
* Focus on the establishment of an Office of an Inspector General or a similar government "watchdog" position.
* Review the Prince George's County Ethics Board and other existing county oversight mechanisms.
* Research best practices from other jurisdictions and the federal government.
* Ensure that current government practices are in compliance with Prince George's County policies and state laws.

As it formulates its recommendations for the county, the ACI Task Force will take into account budget constraints as well as the legal authority of any proposed offices. The Task Force will consist of additional four to five members and will commence its work in the near future.
"I look forward to working with this task force to ensure the integrity and accountability of our government," said County Executive Baker.
Biography of Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke

Kurt L. Schmoke served as the mayor of Baltimore City for 12 years, from 1987 to 1999, and was the Baltimore State's Attorney from 1982 to 1987. Schmoke was appointed Dean of the Howard University School of Law on January 1, 2003. Schmoke earned his undergraduate degree in history from Yale University and pursued graduate studies on a Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford. He earned the Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School. After his tenure as Mayor of Baltimore, Schmoke became a partner at the international law firm of Wilmer, Cutler and Pickering from 1999 to 2002.

During his tenure as mayor, Schmoke initiated a number of programs in the areas of housing, education, public health and economic development. In 1992, President George Bush awarded him the national Literacy Award for his efforts to promote adult literacy, and in 1994 President Bill Clinton praised his programs to improve public housing and enhance community economic development. The Clinton Administration named Baltimore one of six cities to receive Empowerment Zone designation in 1994.
Schmoke's other public service includes his appointment as Assistant Director, White House Domestic Policy Staff under President Jimmy Carter.

Biography of Judge William D. Missouri
Governor William Donald Schaefer appointed the Honorable William D. Missouri to the Circuit Court for Prince George's County on December 21, 1987. Governor Robert L. Ehrlich reappointed him on November 21, 2003 after serving his initial 15-year elected term. He was reelected for a second term on November 2, 2004. He has served as county administrative judge since October 1992 and was appointed by Chief Judge Robert M. Bell to the position of administrative judge for the 7th Judicial Circuit (Calvert, Charles, St. Mary's and Prince George's Counties) on May 1, 1997. He served as the Circuit's Chief Judge (due to seniority) from December 2007 until his retirement in September 2010. Prior to his appointment to the circuit court, Judge Missouri served as an associate and administrative judge of the 5th District Court for Prince George's County.

Previously, Judge Missouri served as the chair of the Maryland Conference of Circuit Judges, and a member of the Judicial Cabinet and Council; chair of the National Conference of State Trial Judges (NCSTJ); president of the Maryland Bar Foundation; and chair of the Judiciary's Legislative Committee. He is a member of the American Bar Association (ABA); J. Franklyn Bourne Bar Association; Maryland State Bar Association (MSBA); and the Prince George's County Bar Association. Moreover, he is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation; the Maryland State bar Foundation; and a former member of the Maryland State Bar Association's Board of Governors. Presently, he serves as Vice-Chair of the American Bar Association's Judicial Division.

Judge Missouri was born in Washington, DC. He attended elementary and secondary schools in Dalzell, SC and Washington, DC. He also served in the United States Air Force. He attended Prince George's Community College from 1971-1973, received a BS and graduated cum laude from Bowie State University in 1975, and received a JD from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1978.