Governor Larry Hogan talks about the furniture taken out of the State House mansion by the former governor. (Algerina Perna, Baltimore Sun video)
Gov. Larry Hogan on Tuesday accused Democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley of "misleading" Marylanders about O'Malley's removal furniture from the governor's mansion in Annapolis, saying the former governor never told him about plans to take items with him when he left office.
Hogan, a Republican, was asked about the matter at a news conference on fee reductions. He at first demurred, saying he didn't want to comment in depth on "an ongoing ethics investigation." But Hogan then said the account O'Malley gave the Washington Post about his decision to move some items to his home in Baltimore was "absolutely blatantly false."
"He has been misleading, no question about it," Hogan said.
The governor was speaking about O'Malley's account of a tour of the governor's mansion that O'Malley and First Lady Katie O'Malley conducted for the Hogans as they were preparing to move in.
"At no time did Governor O'Malley or the first lady mention any plan to take 54 pieces of furniture," Hogan said.
The governor said he recalled asking O'Malley about certain pieces of living and family room furniture that the incoming Republican admired.
"He said this is mine. It wasn't. It was owned by the taxpayers," Hogan said.
Hogan spokesman Doug Mayer said Tuesday night that the Department of General Services is conducting an internal review of the furniture matter and the policies that were applied to the sale.
Haley Morris, a spokeswoman for O'Malley's presidential campaign, denied any wrongdoing, saying the former governor complied with Department of General Services procedures.
"Under the direction of DGS, the O'Malleys -- just as the Ehrlichs did before them -- purchased these non-historic household materials with their own money, according to guidelines set by DGS," Morris said.