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For Your Information

It is easy to violate the Maryland wiretap statue. Having a Ring Doorbell or similar device that records both video and audio upon automatic activation without a warning of the audio recording, puts you in violation of a Maryland felony wiretap law violation. There is a need for a change in the Maryland statue to require criminal intent for prosecution

This November, I am running for Mayor of Chesapeake Beach. Therefore, I want to inform those who may not know of an incident that happened to me in the late quarter of 2018. I learned from it, regret it, and I apologize; nevertheless, a few good things evolved as a result. What happened is as follows:

I installed a widely available telephone app on my cell phone. In lieu of writing notes, I recorded from July to November 2018 to remember telephone conversations while I was on the go. I did not record to seize personal information, which is typically thought of as wiretapping. Furthermore, I had neither criminal nor malicious intent or purpose. Of the 275 reported calls, many were in legal jurisdictions outside Maryland, and most were to friends and family. None of the calls were shared - other than the one call that was the cause of a complaint. Nevertheless, my action was a violation of Maryland law. I acknowledged, and I regret breaking that law. To be specific, the very brief, recorded conversation was in an effort to save the loss of the library in Chesapeake Beach. I addressed a procedural question regarding why the library was not automatically relocated back in Chesapeake Beach after North Beach reneged on their proposal following the deadline for submission. I chose to share the recorded conversation with a council member and the town administrator because the message was succinct and clear to prove a point. In addition, afterwards, the person recorded was not the complainant. Mayor Pat Mahoney, who was not at all involved, reported this recorded telephone conversation to the States Attorney, and Mahoney pursued the complaint.

I was completely cooperative with law enforcement and the States Attorney, and I accepted responsibility. I am grateful that the Maryland States Attorney agreed to recommend probation before judgement (PBJ). In Maryland, a PBJ is not a conviction. I was given a fine in lieu of community service, since, for nearly all my life, I have been involved in community service.

My career of public service began in high school. I co-founded and launched the Prince George’s county Hotline and Suicide Prevention Center, a program that continues to operate today. From those efforts, I was appointed to the advisory board of the Prince George’s County Mental Health Department Mental Health Unit, I volunteered as a member of my local volunteer fire department as a firefighter and served on the rescue squad while also working as technician in the emergency room at Prince George’s Hospital. After that, I served 27 years as a law enforcement officer, having retired as a detective sergeant/first sergeant. I served 19 years honorably as an elected official serving as your town councilman in Chesapeake Beach, President of the Maryland Municipal League, and President of the Southern Maryland Municipal Association. I have served on numerous Boards. I received certificates of appreciation for dedicated service, governor citations, commander’s awards, recognition for meritorious service, recognition for demonstrated valor, and Maryland House and Senate Awards. I will continue to serve my community. I offer my record for your comparisons for Mayor of Chesapeake Beach. I hope that I will not be shadowed by a single mistake committed outside of character. Because I am a person with a lifetime of honorable and dedicated service to our community, I hope you will give me your vote for Mayor of Chesapeake Beach in the November 3, 2020, Town Election held at Town Hall. I want to continue serving our community, open and honest with honor and dignity bringing about results “you can see” and appreciate.