Jacob Bennett Will Represent District F: Maryland Supreme Court Rules In Harford County Council Case


The Maryland State Supreme Court building in Annapolis. (Credit: Google/ Google Maps)

HAVRE DE GRACE - Harford County Councilman Jacob Bennett’s position as a public school teacher does not prevent him from serving on the County Council, the Maryland Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday.

The ruling marks the end of a nearly five-month-long dispute between Bennett and Harford County Executive Bob Cassilly.

The court was asked to determine whether or not Section 207 of the Harford County Charter prevents public school teachers from simultaneously serving as a member of the Harford County Council.

The relevant passage of section 207 states that a “Council member shall not hold any other office of profit or employment in the government of the State of Maryland, Harford County, or any municipality within Harford County.”

The court decided that as a public school teacher, Bennett’s employer is neither the state nor the county government, but rather the Harford County Board of Education. This decision reversed a previous circuit court ruling that declared Bennett ineligible to be a councilman until he quit his job at HCPS.

The court declared that “neither Section 207 of the Harford County Charter nor the doctrine of incompatible positions precludes Mr. Bennett from serving as a member of the Harford County Council while simultaneously being employed as a teacher by the Harford County Board of Education.”

It was additionally ordered that “costs are to be paid by Harford County, and the mandate is to issue forthwith.”

Bennett issued a statement on Wednesday saying that he is thankful that the legal process is over, and he is excited to represent District F.

“It has been a wild few months, but I am so glad that this step in our journey is now over, and we can now return to the important work of representing the community we love so dearly, Bennett wrote. “Thank you to all of you who have stuck by our side through this entire process. I want to especially thank my wife Abbie, who is with me in all things and my rock.”

Harford County Executive Bob Cassilly also issued a statement saying that he respects the court’s decision.

“I respect the Court’s decision in this matter and look forward to working with Councilman Bennett to fulfill the duties of his office,” Cassilly wrote.

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Congratulations, Jacob! 
I trust that you will represent the people who voted for you with the civility, integrity and tenacity that you have demonstrated over the last five months.

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