Baltimore County judge on Tuesday imposed a $1,000 fine against a former aide to a state delegate for making illegal robocalls against fellow Republican Del. Kathy Szeliga, who is a member of the state’s GOP leadership.
Impallaria was the only House member this year not to vote in favor of censuring Del. Mary Ann Lisanti, a Harford County Democrat, after other legislators said they heard her use a racial slur to refer to a legislative district in Prince George’s County. Impallaria said it would be inappropriate for him to judge Lisanti when he didn’t have firsthand knowledge of what happened.
The resolution passed at the Republican convention urges Impallaria to “step down and stop being a blemish in the face of our party.”
Mendelsohn said he brought up the idea of asking Impallaria to resign at a meeting earlier this year of the Baltimore County Republican Central Committee.
At the next meeting, Mendelsohn and other committee members were served with a defamation lawsuit filed by Impallaria. The lawsuit names Mendelsohn and three other central committee members and seeks $150,000 in damages, Mendelsohn said.
Mendelsohn said the lawsuit is troubling.
“If there’s not political freedom of speech in the middle of the central committee meeting, where is there political free speech?” he said.
Impallaria said the defamation lawsuit was about protecting his reputation. He said there’s been an “organized effort of people defaming me in different ways.”
“I have a very, very thick skin and I can take a lot of abuse, and I do,” Impallaria said. “But there comes a time when that abuse gets so bad you must react. Some people would say you react with a baseball bat. Some people would say you react with a gun. Some people would say you react with a fist. But in a civilized society, we react by bringing those matters before a court and jury.”
Patrick O’Keefe, executive director of the state Republican Party, could not be reached Monday for comment.