After several years of a political battled riddled with discrimination, spin, and security breaches, Dana Beyer, senior aide to Montgomery County, Maryland Councilwoman Duchy Trachtenberg, has been exonerated of all ethics charges.
While it's great that the charges were finally dropped, no compensation has been considered regarding the lasting effect this trouble has had on Beyer and councilwoman Trachtenburg's political careers. Beyer explains to the Metroweekly:
"The main problem which has not been resolved to any degree whatsoever, is that the Ethics Commission did not perform an investigation. They did not perform due diligence before they chose to charge me. And to the best of my knowledge I'm the first council staffer ever charged with an ethics violation," she said.
"I believe, and I will prove this in court if the opportunity ever rises, that this was a politically motivated attack on me because of my trans-history ... and that it was all done for the specific reason of damaging my political career and that of my boss [who] hired me.
"She was not reelected," Beyer said, adding that it has also damaged her own political career, in seeking election as a Maryland delegate.
"I know of at least one instance, I'm sure there were more, where I did not receive endorsements from various advocacy groups because of this. Having an ethics cloud hanging over me, people who were sensibly my friends, and should have given me the benefit of the doubt, but because the ethics commission has decided to charge me, felt like they couldn't do so."
Back in December 2009, Bil sat down with Dana, who is a frequent reader and commenter on the Bilerico Project, to discuss the ethics charges when they were first filed: