A Howard County official is calling on Sheriff James F. Fitzgerald to resign amid accusations of discrimination and harassment against his employees.
County Executive Allan Kittleman asked Fitzgerald to resign in a letter Thursday, citing the importance of maintaining the public's trust in law enforcement personnel. Three former county executives issued a joint statement with Kittleman.
The move comes after an investigation by the county's Office of Human Rights determined that a former sheriff's lieutenant was "subjected to a severe and pervasive workplace environment'' for not supporting Fitzgerald's political campaign.
Fitzgerald is also accused of making derogatory comments about African Americans, women and Jews.
The report states Fitzgerald used the "n-word" once told an employee: "African-American deputies are not too smart, but they get the job done," according to The Baltimore Sun.
"We have long been heralded as a county that is diverse and welcoming to people of all ethnic groups, religious groups, racial groups," Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman said, according to The Sun. "This certainly goes against everything I was raised to believe being the son of a civil rights leader in Howard County. It is deeply troubling and deeply disturbing."
A state attorney general's office spokeswoman says Fitzgerald, a Democrat serving his third term as elected sheriff, disagrees with the investigation's findings.