The Anne Arundel County Ethics Commission has charged a former chief deputy of the county sheriff with using subordinates for political purposes.
James Jones, the commission's executive director, confirmed Monday that former Undersheriff Pat Ogle is the subject of charges issued after a review by a commission staff member.
The six-member commission will hold a closed-door hearing on the matter July 12, Mr. Jones said.
Mr. Jones refused to discuss the complaint, but said that usually a commission staffer must make a preliminary finding that an ethics violation may have been committed before a complaint can be heard.
Mr. Ogle denied the charges, saying they were politically motivated by former subordinates who became enemies while he was in the job. State Prosecutor Stephen Montanarelli investigated the charges and found them to be unsubstantiated, he said.
"The only problem I have is that I'm a Republican and not a Democrat, and being a Republican is a bad thing in this county," said Mr. Ogle. "I was hired to do a job, and I did the best job that I could."
Mr. Ogle said that as far as he was concerned, the press was welcome to sit in on the closed-door hearing. Mr. Jones said commission hearings are closed to the public by county ordinance.
The commission will decide if any ethics laws were violated and, if necessary, recommend possible sanctions to County Executive John G. Gary, who has final say on any penalties, said Mr. Jones.
It is unclear what, if any, action the ethics commission could take against Mr. Ogle. Sheriff George Johnson, a Democrat, fired him effective Friday, taking him off the county payroll.
"It may be a moot issue if he doesn't work for the county," Mr. Jones said.
He would not say when the charges were issued. A source said the complaint stems from several actions Mr. Ogle allegedly took while in office. Among the allegations:
* That he used a deputy to obtain campaign finance reports of county elected officials.
* That he offered to promote a lieutenant if the man would follow and keep under surveillance council member Diane R. Evans and former county council member Carl G. "Dutch" Holland.
* That he paid a supervisor and his former karate instructor, who was a part-time deputy, to work hours that he did not work.