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Montgomery County ; maRYLAnd; Maryland ; Maryland house; Teen who died of alcohol poisoning had fake IDs ; Indicted senator's case headed to ethics panel ; Seeking to turn mandate into health down payment ; GOP re-elects Kipke, Szeliga to leadership

Capital - 1/10/2018

Montgomery County

Teen who died of alcohol poisoning had fake IDs

BETHESDA - Police say a Maryland teenager found dead of alcohol poisoning in a frigid stream had two fake driver's licenses that indicated he was old enough to buy alcohol.

Navid Sepehri of Bethesda died after a party last month.

The Washington Post reports that Montgomery County police also said Monday that a bottle of vodka was found in his pocket.

Sepehri's father found his son's body on Dec. 10.

The family has raised questions about where he got alcohol and whether police could have done more when they talked with him outside the party.

Police said in a previous statement that the teen appeared to be drunk, but was not taken into custody. Police have indicated that Sepehri and his friends said they were waiting for rides home from their parents.


Indicted senator's case headed to ethics panel

Maryland's Senate president says he is referring the case of a state senator facing federal bribery and obstruction of justice charges to a state legislative ethics panel.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller told reporters Tuesday he will be referring the case of Baltimore state Sen. Nathaniel Oaks to the General Assembly's ethics panel to consider what to do about the lawmaker's Senate status.

Oaks, a Democrat who was charged last year, is contesting the charges. Republican Gov. Larry Hogan said Tuesday Oaks shouldn't remain in office.

The Baltimore Sun reported Monday that Oaks' public defenders said in new court filings that the Federal Bureau of Investigation "coerced, cajoled and enticed" acquaintances of Oaks into assisting the investigation. Oaks is accused of taking $15,300 in cash payments from an FBI source.


Seeking to turn mandate into health down payment

Maryland lawmakers want to create an individual health care mandate at the state level - in response to Washington gutting it at the federal level - and turn it into a down payment for people to pay for health insurance. Supporters outlined the proposal Tuesday, a day before the Maryland legislative session begins, adding it could also work in other states to help keep insurance premiums from skyrocketing. The Maryland General Assembly is controlled by Democrats.

The federal tax overhaul approved last month removed the federal penalty that was charged to people without health insurance. Under Maryland legislation, the state would offer people without insurance a choice: pay a tax penalty or use the money as a down payment on insurance.

Maryland house

GOP re-elects Kipke, Szeliga to leadership

Maryland House Republicans have re-elected Dels. Nic Kipke and Kathy Szeliga to leadership positions.

Kipke was re-elected Tuesday to be the House minority leader. Szeliga was re-elected to be the House minority whip.

The House Republican Caucus re-elected them a day before the state's 90-day legislative session begins.


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