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Accountability Request For Western MD Representatives

In a letter sent to the Maryland General Assembly, Engage Mountain Maryland asked for a full investigation and action to be taken regarding Western Maryland representatives who sought to secede from Maryland to West Virginia in October of this year. Below is that letter.

Dear Senate President Bill Ferguson and House Speaker Adrienne Jones,

When ludicrous and outlandish behavior ends up national headlines, it can make for a fantastic punchline, but in a recent turn of events, a request for three counties in Maryland to secede and join West Virginia is despicable.

We live in a time of divisive, egregious acts against our nation's democracy. Turning a blind eye or shrugging off bad behavior as a misstep or innocent prank is a government injustice. Maryland has an opportunity to stand up to the flagrant disregard for its citizens and our state.

A deliberate effort orchestrated by six legislators from three Maryland counties to secede and join West Virginia include;

District 1 Senator George C. Edwards (R)

District 1A Del. Wendel Beitzel (R)

District 1B Minority Leader Del. Jason C. Buckel (R)

District 1C Del. Mike McKay (R)

District 2 Del. William J. Wevill (R)

District 2 Del. Brenda J. Thiam (R)

Each of the above signatories sent a letter in October 2021 to West Virginia Senate Speaker Robert Hanshaw and President Craig Blair. The letter stated a desire to redraw Maryland's borders to join West Virginia. Seceding, according to the letter, would benefit both states.

Letter to the Maryland General Assembly

Letter to the Maryland General Assembly

A radical conspiracy has undermined the citizens of Garrett, Allegany, and Washington counties. Even county representatives were kept in the dark as a cohort of Western Maryland legislators successfully sought the favor of West Virginia's Governor, Jim Justice to lead the way. In a public address, the governor clumsily lauded the vague benefits of West Virginia and embraced the three counties that appeared to be up for grabs.

Since the Joint Ethics Committee is compromised by Chairman Edwards, who signed the secession request, The General Assembly should determine an appropriate and alternate legislative forum for a thorough investigation into this matter to address the activities of each of the Maryland legislators involved. The General Assembly should investigate this and report on it, accompanied by corrective legislation, by the end of the 2022 session.