Know Your Candidates: The Background Check in Baltimore County

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Center Maryland continues its review of court records for candidates seeking local offices around Maryland. Today, we feature half of the candidates for Baltimore County Council.

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. And here and here are examinations of the court records for the Prince George's County Council 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.

District 1

Brian S. Bailey - D

Rebecca P. Dongarra - D

Gregory J. Morgan - D

06/05/2006 - Meiser Vs. Morgan, et al. Confessed Judgment. Morgan twice ordered to pay $76,406.00.

03/13/2007 - Amarr Company Vs. Morgan. Regular claim against Morgan and his company, Chesapeake Door Service, Inc. Morgan ordered to pay $9,120.71. Morgan lost his countersuit against Amarr Company.

Tom Quirk - D

Steve Whisler - R

04/07/2010 - Domestic violence, temporary order. Whisler ordered to stay away from wife, family and house. Case was ultimately dismissed.

Steve Whisler's email explanation: "Unfortunately, my wife has decided to leave me for another individual. She used a common tactic in divorce cases for those, like me, who refused to leave the home. She filed a false allegation of domestic violence."

District 2

Vicki Almond - D

Sherrie Becker - D

12/15/2009 - Chestnut Ridge Country Club Vs. Becker. Contract suit that was ultimately dismissed.

Albert M. Harris - D

Jon M. Herbst - R

Theodore Levin - D

Timmy Ruppersberger - D

Alan P. Zuckerberg -D

District 3

Ben Sutley - D

11/23/1988 - State of Maryland Vs. Sutley. DWI, Failure to display license, Unsafe lane changing, Unlawful possession. Sutley plead not guilty to all charges.

Jim Christina - R

04/25/2008 - Montgomery County Vs. Christina. Contract claim. Case was ultimately dismissed.

George H. Harman - R

Todd Huff - R

Bryan T. McIntire - R

Jeff Srnec - R

Glen A. Thomas - R

06/01/04 - Matczuk Vs. Thomas. Tort claim. Judge ultimately ruled against Thomas in the amount of $9,000.

03/29/2005 - Joseph V. Buonassissi II et al Vs. Thomas. Foreclosure suits. Case was eventually dismissed.

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.

Editor's note: The case involving First District candidate Steve Whisler was updated to reflect the fact that the temporary restraining order was ultimately dismissed.
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