The Anne Arundel County Democratic Central Committee is calling on Council Chairman Michael Peroutka to resign. The committee cited Peroutka’s connection to U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama. (Produced by Thalia Juarez l BSMG)
The Anne Arundel County Democratic Central Committee is calling on County Council Chairman Michael Peroutka to resign.
In a statement sent Friday to The Capital, committee Chairwoman Christine Davenport called on the Millersville Republican to relinquish his position as council chairman and resign from the council. The committee, which serves as the party organization in the county, also called on Republican members of the council to hold a new vote on the chairmanship.
The committee cited Peroutka's connection to U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore, of Alabama. The Republican candidate has been accused of pursuing girls as young as 14, one of which revealed a sexual encounter she had with Moore when she was 14 and he was in his 30s. The encounter did not include intercourse, but the girl said the scenario made her uncomfortable and she avoided Moore's follow-up call.
Peroutka has been a longtime friend and supporter of Moore since his days as a judge.
Moore has called the allegations "fake news" and a smear campaign. The Washington Post initially reported the story.
"Peroutka has donated thousands to Moore's campaign, has traveled to Alabama to campaign on his behalf, and even stood on stage with Moore to celebrate his primary election victory, last month," Davenport wrote in her statement. "In our view, this conduct is a disgrace and a stain upon our county."
Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore speaks on Sept. 17, 2017 at an event in Florence, Ala.
Peroutka did not return a request for comment for this story. He has not returned numerous phone calls and requests for comments on his stance regarding Moore.
But the first-term councilman has broken his silence on the WNAV program "Your County Matters." Each Monday and Thursday Peroutka provides brief — about a minute and a half — recorded thoughts about county issues.
Peroutka said in his 15 years of friendship with Moore, he hasn't heard him or seen him do anything "consistent with the accusations that have been reported."
The council chairman cautioned county residents not to relinquish due process when examining the accusations against Moore.
"This is my witness, and it gives me no reason to withdraw my support or my friendship from him," Peroutka said in the radio show.
Peroutka was elected as the council chairman at Monday's meeting. The decision was made along party lines in a 4-3 vote.
This isn't the first time Peroutka has been asked to resign. Most recently county residents asked him to step down because of his League of the South ties and racist comments made by the league's president and co-founder, Michael Hill. Peroutka said he wouldn't resign and has denounced Hill's comments.
Schuh supported Moore with a $1,000 donation after attending a September fundraiser in Severna Park. Schuh asked for that money back Monday, the same day a progressive media outlet wrote about the donation.
The county executive said the story about the donation was not linked to his refund request. He called Moore a "creeper" and said the donation was made before knowing about the allegations. He called the allegations credible.