County Executive's Brother Withdraws Nomination For Harford County Ethics Board


The Harford County Council building in Bel Air (Credit: Van Fisher/ Patch)

HAVRE DE GRACE - At Tuesday night’s Harford County Council meeting, Joe Cassilly announced that he had withdrawn his name from consideration for the county ethics board. Joe Cassilly was nominated to the board by his brother, Harford County Executive Bob Cassilly.

According to Joe Cassilly, his decision was influenced by comments from the public expressing concerns over potential conflicts of interest due to his brother’s position.

“I have to say honestly that I could not be impartial in dealing with such a complaint,” he said. “And even if that were the decision from the commission, it would not end there. There would always be those who claim that a decision was made based on my presence on the ethics commission, and they would question my brother’s reasoning and ethics for putting me on the commission.”

Joe Cassilly served as Harford County’s chief prosecutor for 36 years until he retired in 2019. His nomination was controversial not only because he is the brother of the county executive but also because the Maryland Court of Appeals disbarred Cassilly.

In 2021, the Maryland Court of Appeals found that Cassilly lied about documents that undermined the credibility of an FBI agent.

“Disbarment recognized the seriousness of Cassilly’s misconduct and serves the goal of protecting the public and ensuring the public’s confidence in the legal profession by deterring other attorneys from engaging in similar misconduct,” the court wrote in its decision.

After Cassilly announced he would withdraw his nomination, County Council President Pat Vincenti and council members Aaron Penman and James Reilly thanked Joe Cassilly for his service in the army. 

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