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August 7, 2010

Jessamy says Bealefeld fuels distrust

Baltimore's top prosecutor has accused the city's police commissioner of using the power of his badge to help her opponent in next month's primary, Baltimore Sun colleague Peter Hermann reports.

State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy said in a statement last week that Frederick H. Bealefeld III has broken years of precedent with "overt actions … to influence the outcome of an election" — which she warned "can only lead to divisiveness and distrust in the community."

Jessamy said it was "unprecedented and inappropriate" for the city's top police officer to put a campaign sign on his lawn. Her campaign spokeswoman, meanwhile, said staff members have learned that Bealefeld, while in uniform, "approached some citizens, recruiting volunteers" for Gregg Bernstein's campaign.

Spokeswoman Marilyn Harris-Davis said Bealefeld asked city resident Billy Taylor, a Jessamy supporter, to meet with Bernstein.

Bealefeld's spokesman, Anthony Guglielmi, denied that the commissioner made any such requests while on duty. He confirmed that Bealefeld spoke with Taylor at an event but said that Bealefeld did not try to influence his vote or recruit him as a campaign worker. He said Bealefeld spoke with Taylor about Bernstein in detail only when he was off-duty.

Taylor, who supports Jessamy, said he met with Bernstein for lunch. "I don't know about if it's appropriate," he said. Of Bealefeld, he said, "We're friends, and he asked me to do that and so I did it."

Read more about Jessamy and Bealefeld at baltimoresun.com.

Posted by Matthew Hay Brown at 5:00 AM | | Comments (2)
        

Comments

Commissioner Bealefeld has a duty to endorse whom he believes will be the most effective State's Attorney. I applaud him for exercising his right as a citizen to do so.

Jessemy is grasping at straws. She's a poor states attorney and people are finally knowing it. Now all she is doing is try to kep controversy away from her and onto Bealfield. What a joke!

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Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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