Derr, Munson vote to oust Young

January 17, 1998


Staff Writer

ANNAPOLIS - Moments after the Maryland Senate agreed Friday afternoon to banish embattled Sen. Larry Young, a colleague leaned over to Sen. Donald F. Munson said how the situation just made him feel sick.

That comment came Sen. John W. Derr, R-Frederick/Washington, Munson said. Like Munson, a Hagerstown Republican, Derr didn't disagree with the results: Both senators voted with the majority of the historic 36-10 vote to expel Young for a variety of ethics abuses.

But even those who felt ousting Young from the Senate was the right thing to do also felt an emotional drain from an ordeal that hasn't been played out in state politics in more than 200 years, Munson said.


"I think everyone kind of felt that way - either sick to their stomachs or sick to their hearts," he said.

Munson said the decision to expel Young came at the end of a "gut-wrenching" session that saw Young face the charges that he used his political office to benefit his private business affairs.

But Young's responses were not compelling enough to sway Munson, who entered the legislature the same time Young did 23 years ago. Munson said Young, a Baltimore City lawmaker, sounded like someone fighting for his political future.

"It was a very human drama," he said.

In the end, there was only one choice, he said.

"It was a tough decision, but it was the right decision," Munson said.

The Young matter cast a spotlight on the ethical behavior of the entire legislature, and could be fuel for challengers in the elections later this year. But lawmakers insisted that the matter showed the General Assembly has the willpower to impose the harshest penalties on its own members.

"If today proves nothing else, it proves the system works," Munson said.

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