The chairman of the Baltimore County Republican Central Committee on Wednesday called for the immediate resignation of J. Ronald DeJuliis, the state's commissioner of labor and industry, over charges he stole campaign signs from his wife's primary opponent for state Senate.
"If Mr. DeJuliis feels it's alright to break the law to advance the political career of a family member, he shows a total lack of judgement," said John Fiastro, Jr., head of the Republican group. "Such a criminal act disqualifies him from serving the citizens of Maryland as Labor Commissioner. He should resign. He is not fit to serve."
DeJuliis, whose wife Connie is running against incumbent Democratic state Sen. Jim Brochin, is accused of stealing Brochin's campaign signs. Connie DeJuliis has described the incident as a "misunderstanding."
Kathi Smero, a member of the county's Republican central committee, took issue with those comments. "The destruction of property especially is hardly silly or a misunderstanding," she said.
Nina Smith, a spokeswoman for Gov. Martin O'Malley who has endorsed DeJuliis, said he will let the situation play out in court.
"Here we have Democrats attacking Democrats," Fiastro said. "But if after the primary, Democrat candidates and their supporters try similar antics against our Republican candidates, the county party will seek to press charges to the fullest extent of the law."
DeJuliis faces a misdemeanor charge of theft under $1,000 stemming from the alleged theft Saturday in Parkville. Also charged in the incident were Charles Philip Buttiglieri, 62, of the 900 block of Arncliffe Rd and Casey Akeem Addison, 29, of the 7600 block of Cedar Farm Drive. They face the same misdemeanor charge.