Maryland Gov. Hogan continues to own a stake in dozens of real estate companies

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Pamela Wood, Baltimore Sun
·4 min read
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In addition to buying a new mansion last year, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s interests in a handful of business entities were shuffled, according to his latest financial disclosure filing.

The Republican governor operated his real estate firm, Annapolis-based Hogan Cos., for years before first winning election as governor in 2014. He was reelected to a second and final four-year term in 2018.

Since 2015, the governor’s business interests have been handled by a trust. The governor’s brother, Timothy Hogan, handles the day-to-day affairs of the company. While Hogan is not directly involved in management decisions, he is allowed to receive updates from the trust, an arrangement that was recommended by the State Ethics Commission.

Hogan filed his annual financial disclosure report for the 2020 calendar year last week with the commission.

It showed the governor’s trust continuing to hold 100% ownership of The Hogan Group. The Hogan Group, in turn, owns 47.5% of three other companies: Hogan Cos., Hogan Companies Residential and Hogan Holding Co. The Hogan Group previously owned a 24.5% share in Becker Building Co., but that’s no longer among his holdings now.

The Hogan Group also owns a 50% stake in Hogan Development, which owns portions of 32 different limited liability companies.

Three of the LLCs from Hogan’s report covering 2019 don’t appear on the 2020 filing: Blue Ridge Realty Partners (13%), Iron Will Realty Co. (33.33%) and Star-Spangled Investments (25%). Meanwhile, there are three newly listed LLCs: Birdland Power Co. (16.875%), Prosperity Senior Communities (13.3%) and Westphalia Meadows (13.3%).

The purpose for each entity is not explained in the reports. It’s common for real estate and development companies to form limited liability companies for different development projects.

The governor has been criticized for his extensive investments, with some watchdog groups questioning whether he has conflicts of interest, particularly when making decisions about road construction near his company’s projects. At least two ethics complaints have been filed about the governor’s business dealings, but the ethics commission has not made public any decisions about them.

Hogan’s filing lists ownership of two properties: a Davidsonville mansion he bought with his wife, Yumi, and an Ocean City condominium.

The filing doesn’t describe the house, other than saying the price was between $1 million and $2 million and that Bay Capital Mortgage Corp. holds a loan on the property. State property records and real estate listings show the Hogans bought the five-bedroom home on nearly 6 acres in January for $1.1 million.

Hogan sold the Ocean City condo for $620,000 in December.

His annual salary as governor is $180,000. It’s not known exactly how much money the governor made from his business dealings last year, because he’s not required to report that. When seeking reelection in 2018, Hogan released tax returns showing he had made about $2.4 million in corporate earnings since becoming governor. He has not released subsequent tax returns.

The new filing noted the governor’s wife didn’t earn wages in 2020. She previously worked as an adjunct professor at Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore.

With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the governor received fewer gifts in 2020 than in each of the previous two years. He listed about $2,500 worth for last year, ranging from mugs and hats to paintings and books, reporting 41 times he received presents.

They included two books from Jim Perdue, the chairman of Salisbury-based Perdue Farms; a book from David Rubenstein, a Baltimore native and philanthropist who is co-founder and co-chair of global private equity investment firm The Carlyle Group; and a Christmas ornament from prominent Annapolis lobbyist Bruce Bereano.

The highest-value gift listed, $900 worth of masks from Under Armour founder Kevin Plank, was returned because of the cost of the gift, said Mike Ricci, a spokesman for the governor. The remaining top-dollar item was $196 Revision sunglasses from Kyle Flanders, who according to LinkedIn, works for Vermont-based manufacturer Revision Military.

Republican Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford, meanwhile, reported few changes on his financial disclosure report. He owns a home in Howard County and acquired additional stocks in companies through a reorganization of United Technologies.

Rutherford continues to list ownership of a company called KMC Realty Ventures. Rutherford’s office has said the lieutenant governor has a minority interest in the firm, which owns a building where he once had an office.

The lieutenant governor also reported a handful of gifts of nominal value, including masks and hand sanitizer.