Claims Of Spying On Harford County Officials Sparks Investigation Into Cassilly Administration
HARFORD COUNTY - Harford County Councilman Aaron D. Penman has accused the Cassilly Administration of using government resources to monitor the electronic communications of several residents.
Penman alleges that Cassilly's office monitored Councilman Penman, Sheriff Gahler, former County Executive Barry Glassman, a private attorney, and certain citizens. According to Penman, these actions were taken in an effort to disrupt an ongoing investigation into governmental malpractices and misappropriation of county funds by the Cassilly Administration.
"This desperate measure taken by the Cassilly Administration to potentially influence an investigation and control government should give every elected official, government employee, and law-abiding citizen concern that they could be next," Penman wrote.
The council member stated that the administration's surveillance actions not only violated the 4th amendment rights of those under scrutiny but also constituted a deliberate attempt to harass, silence, and intimidate those who were carrying out the investigation.
"This shocking discovery is grounds for an immediate criminal investigation for misconduct in office and wiretapping violations, under Maryland Courts and Judicial Proceedings Section 10-401, a felony punishable by up to five years imprisonment and/or a $10,000 fine," Penman stated in his press release.
He further called on County Executive Cassilly and the directors involved to take a leave of absence.
"The Cassilly Administration clearly cannot be trusted. If they've gone to these lengths, they most certainly will spy on agencies investigating and reviewing the case, such as the State's Attorney's Office and Harford County Sheriff's Office," Penman added.
The Harford County Sheriff's Office is investigating Penman's claims. In a statement, the Gahler's office promised to conduct an unbiased investigation into the allegations.
"Given the gravity of the accusations, we are committed to a thorough and diligent investigation to safeguard the rights of all citizens of Harford County," the statement read.
The sheriff's office added that police officials will refrain from disclosing additional information or commenting throughout the investigation.
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