A watchdog group recently disclosed a slew of e-mails that it obtained pursuant to a "freedom of information" request which show a very cozy relationship between a Baltimore lawyer, who represents Perdue, and Martin O’Malley – they were law school classmates and apparently still are close. He is a partner at the mega-lawfirm, Venable, LLP, based in Baltimore, with offices elsewhere. The implication is that the lawyer in those e-mails, Herbert D. Frerichs, serves as Perdue’s stimulant with O’Malley and lesser Maryland officials.
But to quote my good friend Sportin’ Life, who is almost always on the mark, that ain’t necessarily so!
Not long ago Venable engaged Peter C. O’Malley not as a regular lawyer but rather "of counsel" capacity. That’s noteworthy because he has little if any experience as a practicing lawyer after he finished law school in 2000. Since then he seems to have "practiced" mostly as a political operative – according to his bio on the Venable website:
In addition to his government and private sector work, Mr. O’Malley has been an active force in Maryland politics and campaigns. He played key roles in the campaigns of his brother, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, serving as campaign manager for his 1999 and 2003 mayoral campaigns and senior advisor in his 2006 and 2010 gubernatorial campaigns. Mr. O’Malley also chaired the Maryland Democratic Party.
Also worthy of note: the Venable firm is renowned for influence peddling. The "Influence 50" survey published by the National Law Journal ranked Venable’s Legislative and Government Affairs group – of which Peter O’Malley is a member -- 15th among law firm lobbying practices and 21st among all lobbying firms for 2011. Again, this is from the Venable website. It is involved in more than just practicing law.
Is there any doubt why he became part of the team?
It’s not illegal and seems prudent to hire the Governor’s brother if you are in the business of furnishing influence at the highest level for those in need of such service who can afford to pay in order to have it. And we understand that the younger O’Malley is very good at what he does.