The following letter was sent to Gov. Martin O’Malley by Senate Minority Leader Allan H. Kittleman and Senate Minority Whip Nancy Jacobs. A copy was provided to The Dagger.
September 17, 2009
Governor Martin O’Malley
Annapolis, MD 21401
Dear Governor O’Malley
The members of the Senate Republican Caucus have been troubled by the national scandal exposed over the past week about actions of ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform) staff members who offered advice on undertaking criminal activity and defrauding federal and state governments. The fact that the first release of such information involved ACORN staff operating in Baltimore City has blemished our state’s reputation.
We are also concerned about the lack of interest by those responsible for upholding the state’s laws in proceeding with an investigation of these actions of ACORN. Both Baltimore City State’s Attorney Patricia Jessemy and Attorney General Douglas Gansler have offered public commentary on the Shari Ellicker show (WBAL Radio) professing that no investigation is needed because no one in their Maryland constituency is upset by this national controversy.
We believe that public confidence is shaken when the chief law enforcement officials turn a blind eye towards potential criminal activity in the state. Potential violations of several state and federal law occur when staff of a private nonprofit organization, supported by public financing, is providing advice on the human trafficking of minors for sexual activity and operating houses of prostitution and avoiding state and federal taxes. In fact, just five months ago the Maryland General Assembly passed House Bill 542 – Criminal Law – Human Trafficking – Inducing or Enticing because of the public’s overwhelming concerns about criminal activities involving child prostitution. You signed this bill on April 14, 2009
Obviously, state leaders who have shunned this topic are concerned about political ramifications of speaking against ACORN even though they are supposed to be a non-political organization. Maryland law provides specifically for the conduct of an independent criminal investigation when the elected officials are politically compromised.
We call on you to refer this matter to the Maryland State Prosecutor as provided for in, Criminal Procedure Article, Section 14-107(b). ACORN provides services throughout the state of Maryland, therefore, a request by the Governor for the independent State Prosecutor would relieve State’s Attorney Jessemy and Attorney General Gansler of the political liabilities of leading such an investigation of potential criminal activity that is conducted in more than one political subdivision of the state.
A strong statement by you would send a signal to Marylanders as well as citizens across the nation that our state leadership does not condone any actions that would support businesses engaged in the sex trafficking of children. It also would help restore integrity to our state that has been tarnished by this national crisis.
Very truly yours,
Allan H. Kittleman
Senate Minority Leader
Senate Minority Whip
Cc: Attorney General Douglas Gansler
Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller