Doug Gansler calls reckless driving allegations untrue
Updated: October 17, 2013 - 12:53 pm
(WJLA) - The 28 pages of memos, emails, and texts released to ABC7 on Tuesday detail the complaints of several state troopers assigned to drive and protect Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler.
Troopers reported to superiors that Gansler frequently demanded they speed, drive aggressively, and use lights and sirens against the law – just to get Gansler where he was going, and fast.
Their commander summed up his frustration in a December 2011 memo to his boss by saying: “This extremely irresponsibly behavior is nonstop and occurs on a daily basis."
In an appearance on NewsChannel8's NewsTalk with Bruce DePuyt, Gansler responded on Tuesday to a Washington Post article that accused Gansler of ordering his police escorts to use their power to help him bypass traffic.
"That story is one hundred percent completely untrue," Gansler said. "They say I even got a speeding ticket that I didn't pay. There's a public record to show I never got a speeding ticket, so we know that's not true."
Now, the State Police are firing back. In an exclusive phone interview with a trooper who complained of being ordered by Gansler to go against policy and turn on lights and sirens on a highway shoulder just to bypass traffic, ABC7 was told that he stands by his statement.
And the Lt. Colonel in charge of the entire executive protection details says he's also backing the claims of ten troopers who complained about Gansler.
"The fact that the troopers are being called liars is not acceptable," said Lt. Col. Bill Pallozzi. "We stand by the facts in those documents the troopers prepared in 2011."
Gansler blamed the issue on Governor O'Malley and Lt. Governor Brown's henchmen:
"They're running a campaign about dirty politics... pulling out some memo that some henchmen wrote two or three years ago."
"It's not about politics for us," replied Pallozzi. "We're about protection and security -- not the political side."
This past Saturday, The Washington Post reported that Gansler ordered state troopers assigned to him to turn on sirens and bypass traffic jams to get him to routine appointments. The accusations stemmed from written accounts by the Maryland State Police.
"Nobody really believes I ordered some troopers to do these kinds of things," Gansler had said in response to the allegations. "It's silly."
Maryland State Police insist they are standing behind the seven troopers who wrote the reports, and call the attorney general's comments on NewsChannel 8 "baseless and inappropriate."
Gansler appeared on NewsTalk with Del. Jolene Ivey, his running mate in his bid for the Democratic nomination in the governor's race.
A statement released by Gansler's campaign on Tuesday afternoon states:
Attorney General Gansler strongly stands behind the Maryland State Police and the members of the Executive Protection Section. The only disagreement he has is with the conclusions and conjecture of an internal memo. After 20 years of working side by side with law enforcement, he has nothing but the utmost respect for the men and women who make up the Maryland State Police, their outstanding work, and the sacrifices they make every day to protect the people of Maryland. And for that reason, at no time, did the Attorney General ever issue any orders to any member of the Maryland State Police.