Five of Maryland's Congressional representatives are joining the call for Howard County Sheriff James Fitzgerald to resign.
Five of Maryland's Congressional representatives are joining the call for embattled Howard County Sheriff James Fitzgerald to resign.
"We urge you to prioritize the needs of the residents of the county you serve, as well as the officers under your command, and resign your office," wrote Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger and Rep. John Sarbanes in a letter to the sheriff on Thursday morning.
Cummings, Ruppersberger and Sarbanes each represent part of Howard County in their Congressional districts.
Fitzgerald has come under fire following a report from the Howard County Office of Human Rights that detailed allegations of harassment and retaliation by the sheriff. He's accused of using racist and foul language, including using the "n-word" and calling former County Executive Ken Ulman, "little Kenny Jew-boy."
The sheriff apologized last week for the "atmosphere" created by the accusations, but he has not apologized for any of his actions. He told human rights investigators that he denied any wrongdoing and that he's simply "a loud New Yorker."
Fitzgerald and his representatives could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday morning.
The Congressional representatives wrote: "The people of Howard County and its Sheriff's office deserve leadership that understands that bullying, racism, sexism and anti-Semitism should have no place in American law enforcement."
More than 20 current and former Howard County politicians from both parties have urged Fitzgerald to resign. The county's state senators and delegates are researching whether they can impeach the sheriff.
Fitzgerald, a Democrat, is serving his third term as elected sheriff and previously was a county police officer. In Howard County, the sheriff's office serves warrants, provides courthouse security, transports prisoners and deals with landlord-tenant disputes. It is not the county's primary law enforcement agency.