Caryn Tamber writes a fascinating article in the Maryland Daily Record today on lobbyist Bruce Bereano’s challenge of the suspension of his Maryland lobbying license.
The State Ethics Commission fined Mr. Bereano $5,000 and suspended him for 10 months as the result of Bereano’s violation of Maryland law, which does not allow lobbyists to work on a contingency fee basis. Mr. Bereano’s lawyer argued that his client cannot be fined and suspended, because he signed the agreement for a contingency fee before the sanctions law went into effect (although it is worth noting that at the time of the agreement, the contingency fee deal was a crime under Maryland law).
Mr. Bereano is no stranger to trouble with the law. He was convicted in 1994 of eight counts of federal mail fraud charges for essentially skimming money from clients to make campaign contributions to political candidates, although I don’t think his clients particularly objected.
None of this is particularly interesting to me. What is fascinating to me is that the Maryland Court of Appeals deciding the case will be composed of only two active judges and five retired judges because Judge Robert M. Bell, Judges Irma S. Raker, Lynne A. Battaglia, Alan M. Wilner and Dale R. Cathell all recused themselves. They were replaced by retired judges James Getty, William W. Wenner, Lawrence F. Rodowsky, Robert L. Karwacki and Raymond G. Thieme Jr.
Five of the judges? This is a guy who knows people, let me tell you. He apparently continues to flout the law. Scandal follows him everywhere. Yet he still counts most political elite in Maryland among his closest friends. I remember reading in 1999, when he got out of jail, about how the many influential Maryland politicians were there to meet him as he walked out of prison. Folks, that’s what I call influence.
The two people I’m most interested in today are New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick and Bruce Bereano. Belichick fascinates me because he has just awful people skills, which is usually a recipe for disaster for almost any profession, much less an NFL coach. Moreover, by every account I have ever heard, he is just a miserable human being without a great deal of integrity. I’m very interested in how people with such glaring weaknesses can still have such great success. Yesterday, I bought the late David Halberstam’s biography of Belichick to get some insight into him. With Bereano, obviously, he does not need to do this stuff to be successful, so why do it?
We need to learn more about what makes this guy tick. So I’m not asking for, I’m demanding, that someone write a biography of Bruce Bereano.