Skip to comments.Ehrlich: "Rogue Operation" (free republic/Gov. Ehrlich story about Mayor O'Malley's cheating)
Posted on 02/12/2005 9:32:50 PM PST by gotmatt
Ehrlich: "Rogue Operation" -- CLICK ON THIS STORY TO HEAR THE GOVERNOR'S LATEST COMMENTS Friday, February 11, 2005 WBAL Radio and The Associated Press
Governor Ehrlich appeared on WBAL's Chip Franklin Show Friday morning. Click to hear his comments. Listen
Governor Ehrlich is saying more about the discovery that a long-time aide used the Internet to spread rumors that Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley had an affair.
Speaking on W-B-A-L Radio's "Chip Franklin Show," Ehrlich described Joseph Steffen's Web postings as "a rogue operation" and says Steffen made a huge mistake. But he says the suggestion the rumors started with Steffen is ludicrous.
Ehrlich said he regrets that Steffen made the postings and said he intends to pull O'Malley aside soon in Annapolis and talk to him about it.
Ehrlich also expressed frustration with a column today by The (Baltimore) Sun's Michael Olesker. The column cites a television interview Wednesday in which Ehrlich seemingly denied having heard the rumors about O'Malley. Ehrlich now says he had heard those rumors, and only denied having heard rumors that Steffen had been responsible for the Internet postings. To read the Olesker column, CLICK HERE.
Democratic legislative leaders, skeptical that Steffen acted alone when he spread rumors about Mayor O'Malley, say it will take more than an inquiry by the governor's legal adviser to resolve questions about the incident that has roiled state political waters.
But Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller said Thursday Democrats won't rush into any investigation of their own.
"We are going to let the matter percolate for two or three days. We're going to see what else comes forth, analyze what steps the governor is taking," Miller said.
He said he and House Speaker Michael Busch will then try to come up with a way to resolve the matter that will be acceptable to Republicans and Democrats.
Ehrlich asked Jervis Finney, a former state senator and head of his legal staff, to investigate the role Joseph Steffen played in spreading rumors about O'Malley's personal life and whether his Internet postings were done with state equipment on state time. Ehrlich fired Steffen and asked him to apologize to O'Malley.
In an e-mail to O'Malley, which Steffen provided to The Associated Press Thursday, he said he was "truly sorry, ashamed and remorseful and I ask that you and your family please find it in your hearts to forgive me."
"I have no excuse for joining web (or other) conversations that are reckless, mean-spirited and personally damaging in nature," the e-mail said.
Raquel Guillory, spokeswoman for O'Malley, said the mayor received an e-mail "through the Baltimore City Web site allegedly from Steffen. The mayor has no further comment at this time."
O'Malley and his wife, Catherine, held a news conference Wednesday to say that rumors that the mayor has been unfaithful to his wife were untrue, with O'Malley describing them as "despicable lies."
Miller said an apology from Steffen was not sufficient and that the governor also should apologize for the actions of someone who was on his staff when he was in Congress and then came with him to state government.
"It happened on his watch. If he didn't know, he should have known," Miller said. "If he would apologize, maybe we could put an end to this."
Ehrlich said Wednesday he would not tolerate what Steffen did, but also would not apologize personally for Steffen's actions. The governor refused to answer questions about any topic at his one public event Thursday, a ceremony to dispense to charities $20,000 donated by state employees for tsunami relief.
House Majority Leader Kumar Barve, D-Montgomery, said he believes an inquiry outside the governor's office is needed to look at Steffen's actions and whether other members of the administration were involved, but he said House leaders had not discussed what form the inquiry should take.
But some key Democratic leaders, include House Speaker Michael Busch and Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee Chairman Bryan Frosh, also think an inquiry should be expanded to look into the way the Ehrlich administration has carried out what Frosh described it as "a statewide purge of people who are politically undesirable."
Busch said one of the Steffen's main duties was to go into state agencies and root out people who might not be loyal to Ehrlich so they could be fired.
"They removed long-serving employees, nonpolitical employees, put armed guards at offices, posted pictures of (fired) employees in the lobby of the building where they worked," the speaker said. "That's the police state mentality that state government is now in."
Busch said an independent inquiry is needed into whether Steffen had spread rumors on state time on state equipment and whether other people were involved.
"I certainly don't think it should be left to some kind of investigation done by the administration," he said. "That's the ultimate fox guarding the hen house."
No, he didn't act at all, he was merely responding to someone else, MD4BUSH - most likely a liberal reporter.
What does this have to do with FR? did Steffan post something here?
IN MY OPINION, it's true. I don't care what O'MALLEY and his wife say. Where there is smoke there is usually fire. I remember Bill Clinton and all of his denials and the coverups that went on in the "news" in Arkansas. They all were in CYA mode so Clinton wouldn't throw them out. They were all a bunch of lying cowards by not reporting on Clinton and pretending he didn't have MULTIPLE AFFAIRS when he was governor. I think this is the same type of thing.
The WaPo also took a shot at us, but it was a miss.(or a blank):-)
It may be that someone in Doug Duncan's organization had the bright idea to damage both of his rivals for the Governorship (Dem O'Malley, Rep present Gov. Erlich) in one operation. We shall see.
If O'Malley truly is faithful to his wife, then heads should roll. If he is not....then well...what's all the fuss about?
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