Allan Kittleman in Howard County is still pushing for the resignation of Sheriff James Fitzgerald, and he’s now exploring methods beyond impeachment to make it happen.
Fitzgerald, a third-term elected sheriff, has heard calls for his resignation from county officials, the entire Democratic state delegation and a handful of members of Congress from Maryland. He earned rebuke from leaders since the release of a scathing investigative report by the county’s Office of Human Rights. Fitzgerald allegedly created a hostile workplace, cursed at members of his department and insulted African-Americans, Jews and women in his office, the report found.
For the last several weeks, Fitzgerald has ignored requests that he step down. He apologized for a reported behavior in a a Sept. 29 press conference, but promised to keep his job leading the sheriff’s department, according to WJZ. Because he is an elected official, he cannot be fired.
County Executive Allan Kittleman appears to be growing tired of waiting for Fitzgerald to change his mind. In a statement posted to Facebook Thursday morning, he said he had asked legislators to begin his impeachment process, but that there were “concerns…that this course of action won’t happen fast enough,” adding, “I agree.”
Kittleman has now asked the county’s legal office to “explore any and all legal means” to quickly remove Fitzgerald from office. He wrote that Fitzgerald’s alleged conduct was “egregious” and is unrepresentative of the county’s “values of inclusion and respect.”
Fitzgerald was mum on Kittleman’s new remarks Thursday. Both will have to wait and see if there is a potential legal avenue to remove the embattled sheriff through the county’s court system.