Clerk of Court calls for Bealefeld to resign

Frank Conaway, the longtime clerk of court whose wife and children also hold elected positions in the city, issued a press release today calling for Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III to step down for expressing his support for State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy's opponent.

In an interview, Conaway said Bealefeld was doing a good job as commissioner but said he was fearful that Bealefeld's views might intimidate voters. His statement was more forceful, saying Bealefeld "has demonstrated that he lacks the political impartiality, sound judgment, and honesty required of a police commissioner."


"He can influence people merely by being police commissioner and having that badge," Conaway said in an interview. "He has 3,000 policemen that he can influence, possibly. And on election day, each polling police has a policeman. That can be intimidating."

He said "at the very least," Bealefeld should step down until the campaign is over. "Then he can campaign for Mr. Bernstein all he wants to," Conaway said.

Conaway's press release is below:

Frank Conaway, Clerk of the Circuit Court and Member of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council Calls for Resignation of Police Commissioner Frederick Bealefeld

Frederick Bealefeld should step down as Baltimore City Police Commissioner.  If he does not, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake should ask for his resignation.

Mr. Bealefeld has demonstrated that he lacks the political impartiality, sound judgment, and honesty required of a police commissioner.

Like the Clerk of the Circuit Court, the Maryland Constitution establishes the State’s Attorney as an elected independent office.  Local officials, especially police chiefs, are expected to work with whomever the voters in their wisdom choose.  A police commissioner does not get to select who he believes would be a suitable partner as State’s Attorney.

The recent reports of more then $7.2 million dollars in payments to citizens victimized by police abuse documents why it is important to have3 a prosecutor who is not a rubber stamp for the police department.  Otherwise, who would police the police?

Mr. Bealefeld has stepped far over the line of propriety.  He has lost the trust of a substantial portion of the citizenry.  He must leave.