Know Your Candidates: The Background Check, Day 2

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Center Maryland continues its review today of court records for candidates seeking local offices around Maryland.

Too frequently in the past several years, unfortunate disclosures have emerged from court records about candidates – after the election has already taken place. So over the next few weeks, Center Maryland is going to publish the findings from its Maryland court record checks on the candidates and provide links to review the electronic files.

In many instances, the records seem relatively minor, and are unlikely to affect voters’ choices. For other candidates, the charges or civil lawsuits seem more serious. Center Maryland hopes this will inspire voters, or members of the print or broadcast media, to ask some additional questions.

Click here to review the court records found for Prince George's County executive candidates.

For Center Maryland, Ben Waldron – a recent graduate of Tufts University – has been leading this records project.

If candidates want to add their own explanations for the court records -- or if they believe that the records are in error -- please email us your thoughts or comments. (Click here to contact Center Maryland.) We will add your comments to the website. And if you think we missed an important case involving one of your opponents, you're welcome to email Center Maryland, too.

We continue our review with candidates for Prince George's County Council.

District 1

Valerie L. Cunningham - D

Sam Epps - D

Mary A. Lehman - D

Frederick Smalls - D

09/21/1994 - State of MD Vs. Smalls. State filed tax lien against Smalls and his wife, who were both ordered to pay $2,405.07.

06/21/2005 - Monogram Credit Card Bank of GA Vs. Smalls. Credit card company filed a claim for $1,703.92. Claim was ultimately dismissed.

Crystal R. Thompson - D

07/16/2009 - Geesing Vs. Thompson.

District 2

Will Campos - D

Dottie McNeill - D

10/08/2004 - State of MD Vs. McNeill. State filed tax lien against McNeill, who was ultimately ordered to pay $7,304.06.

11/02/2005 - Prince George's County, MD Vs. McNeill. County filed injunction claim against McNeill.

04/11/2006 - State of MD Vs. McNeill. State filed tax lien against McNeill, who was ultimately ordered to pay $600.25.

08/07/2009 - Prince George's County Traffic System. McNeill charged with Driving on the highway with a suspended license. In May, 2010, McNeil failed to appear in court. The case is currently active.

Sabrena Turner - D

10/28/2008 - London Terrace Condominium Vs. Turner. Judge ruled in favor of the Plaintiff in the amount of $3,672.00.

11/26/2009 - Cach LLC Vs. Turner. Cach LLC sued Turner on a bankruptcy claim. The judge ruled in favor of the plaintiff in the amount of $29,353.32.

District 3

Eric C. Olson - D

Al Whiting - D

03/16/1990 - Haselden Vs. Stevenson. Whiting was named as defendant in a motor tort case. No damages were awarded to the plaintiff.

03/16/1990 - Lucas Vs. Stevenson. Also a motor tort case in which no damages were awarded to the plaintiff.

05/07/2003 - Taylor Vs. Whiting. Motor tort case. No damages awarded to the plaintiff.

04/28/2009 - Prince George's County Criminal System - Summons. Whiting was charged with littering/dumping over 100 lbs. Whiting was not required to pay any damages.

District 4

Ingrid M. Turner - D

Fiona Moodie - R

District 5

Andrea Harrison - D

Nakia T. Ngwala - D

Pat Thornton - D

04/24/1986 - Montgomery County traffic system. Failure to stop/Passing school vehicle stopped/stopping/operating flashing warning lights. Failed to appear in court. Fined $250.

01/03/1992 - Maryland State Income Tax Division Vs. Thornton. Tax Lien. Ordered to pay $2,430.49.

Editor's note: Some candidates who are in elected office are named as defendants in lawsuits against the government. Those lawsuits have usually, but not always, been excluded from Center Maryland's review.
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