Whistle-blown: Mount Rainier IDs worker who complained of sexual harassment

Mount Rainier city officials appear to have publicly identified a former employee who filed sexual harassment complaints against the city. The identification of the former employee by city officials comes amid new media reports of allegations of sexual harassment and financial irregularities within the Mount Rainier City Police Department that first came to light in 2018. Such a revelation also runs counter to state personnel record disclosure laws, potentially exposing the city to legal liability. Maryland state laws, particularly its Law Enforcement Officer’s Bill of Rights, Public Information Act and Open Meetings Act, grant broad protections against the disclosure or public discussion of personnel records of government employees by government employees. Mount Rainier city officials have recently used these laws as the legal justification to withhold the identities of officers and police staff who may have been the subject – either as accused or accusers – of 2018’s investigations.

Opinion: Thomas Stone Elementary students deserve better

Earlier this month, Thomas S. Stone Elementary School’s principal, Ashanti Foster, was placed on administrative leave after parents and community leaders objected to a planned White House field trip that would have required students to provide citizenship information. The Washington Post reported the principal was suspended over the wording of the permission slip. School district officials have since come under fire for taking such a significant step over such a seemingly minor mistake. But the reality is more complicated. The field trip and permission slip were simply the latest in a long series of management failures.

Benitez wins 4 years on Mount Rainier Council; Brentwood, N. Brentwood, Riverdale Park results

Incumbent Mount Rainier City Councilor Celina Benitez has decisively won a four-year term, holding on to her seat in the Gateway City’s Ward One she first won two years ago. Benitez defeated rival Charnette Robinson by a vote of 281 to 109, according to unofficial results. While the final numbers could change due to potentially-outstanding absentee ballots, there are too few such ballots outstanding to change the final result, according to Mount Rainier election officials. “I’m definitely happy the community came out. It was an election where there with only Council members, so sometimes you tendto feel people will not come out, especially when there’s not a Federal election,” said Benitez in an interview after the votes were counted.