August 26, 2014 2:24 pm ET
ACLU contacted over potential Civil Rights violation, while victim lodges Internal Affairs complaint
And the rabbit hole keeps getting deeper, Alice…
One of the victims in what I now refer to as “Countygate” has filed a 25-page PIA in an effort to find out who made the complaint to police regarding Dundalk United being “disorderly” at the Council work session.
As you probably know, that alleged complaint led to the now famous police inquisition of two community leaders in which they were unjustly accused of a crime.
Now, in order to have a crime, there must be a victim and a complainant. This was the impetus behind the filing of the PIA—simply put, the accused want to find out who made the complaint. Without that complaint, there was no reason for the police to contact any community organization member over participation in the constitutional right to free speech.
Further down the hole we go…
First, let’s look at some of the accusations made against those citizens’ by Major Butch Wilson—who, by the way, was not present at the council work session.
First, the Major announced that the meeting was called to protect Dundalk United’s rights. Then, the Major stated that the police department was informed that the meeting became disorderly. We later learned that this information was based on a phone call the Major received, but he could not recall who made the phone call, even though there were only two detectives present at the council session.
The fact that the Major could not recall who contacted him over this issue was something that I found to be very strange. Even stranger about the issue was the Confidential Report of Investigation filed by the two detectives assigned to the council session, both of whom wrote their reports 6 to 7 days after the alleged conduct by members of Dundalk United as the group expressed its displeasure over the sale and development of the government center.
Here are the details: one of the reports shows that Det. Batton wrote a Confidential Report regarding the session on July 7, 2014, and the report was signed on July 8, 2014. One would wonder if this was the result of a mental slip, or a situation where the detective was following orders, since the actual date of the session in question was July 1, 2014.
Now, as I stated, there are 25 pages of various emails and correspondence referring to this matter. None of the documentation in this seems to be consistent with those in attendance, including myself and Councilman David Marks, who stated in the Sun: “I think they were passionate, but I have seen other witnesses who have also displayed that type of emotion,” said Marks, a Perry Hall Republican. “I personally didn’t feel threatened.”
Now, let’s take a look at what the PIA requested, as shown below:
1. “[Copies of all documents, reports and E-Mails relating to alleged conduct by the above-mentioned parties* (or the Group known as Dundalk United) during and/or after the July 1, 2014, Baltimore County Council Work Session:”
*Parties mentioned in the request letter’s subject line are: Karen Cruz, Robert Staab.
2. “[Copies of all documents, reports and E-Mails relating to a July 7, 2014 meeting (held at North Point Library) attended by Major Woodland Wilson, Detective Chuck Hart, and Corporal Morgan Hassler of the Baltimore County Police Department and Karen F Cruz, Robert Staab. Buzz Beeler, Diane Carliner, Scott Collier and Ronald R. Schaeffer.”
3. “[Any and all documents in the form of E-mails, memos, and any departmental or Baltimore County forms to transmit inter-agency correspondence to include County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, Councilman John Olszewski, Sr. and Council Chairwoman Cathy Bevins along with Chief James Johnson, Major Woodland Wilson, Detective Chuck Hart and Corporal Morgan Hassler.”
Here is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. In a response from the county’s legal department, Ms. Vickie Wash wrote the following:
“In response to your third request, please be advised that there are no documents responsive to your request.”
That seems really strange, since those in question here—Councilwoman Bevins, County Executive Kamenetz, and Chief Johnson—are all key players in this drama.
I have contacted the Baltimore County Ethics Commission regarding this matter. Considering they have only investigated ONE case in TEN years, you might say I’m wasting my time. However, let’s give them the benefit of the doubt and see what they do.
It only gets more bizarre from here, so stayed tuned for part 3 of this continuing saga…