Maryland Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Doug Gansler is responding to allegations by state troopers in his security detail of “extremely irresponsible behavior” from a nearly 2-year old memo.
An article in “The Washington Post” recounts incidents listed in memos that the attorney general disobeyed traffic laws, ordered drivers to activate emergency equipment, and order troopers into the passenger seat so he could drive the vehicle himself.
“This extremely irresponsible behavior is non-stop and occurs on a daily basis,” Lt. Charles Ardolini, commander of the state police executive protection section, wrote in a December 2011 memo obtained by the newspaper. “Attorney General Gansler has consistently acted in a way that disregards public safety, our Troopers safety and even the law.”
A statement issued from Gansler on Saturday said the attorney general “respect the troopers and the job they do protecting me and the public,” and apologized to the few troopers who felt uncomfortable with his “backseat driving.”
“I met with Col. Marcus Brown at the time of the incident that generated the internal memo provided to the Post. To my knowledge, all of this had been resolved at that time. There really is not much more to say about it,” Gansler said in his statement.
“I can tell you this much, I appreciate the job that these troopers do, often not seeing their families for long stretches of time and after 20 years of working side by side with law enforcement, I have nothing but the utmost of respect for them."
Two state troopers who worked for the attorney general defend Gansler, saying he never asked to violate traffic laws or put others in danger just to get to an event early.
“They don’t come any finer than Doug Gansler,” according to one trooper, whose identity was protected out of concern of retribution.
Gansler is an announced candidate for the 2014 race for Maryland Governor. Reports say he is expected to name Delegate Jolene Ivey from Prince George’s County as his running mate early next week.