Lawyer of the Day

Lawyer of the Day: I Propose to Misappropriate City Resources

Baltimore inner harbor fiasco.JPGI was first introduced to Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) during day 3 of the Sotomayor confirmation hearings. I was unimpressed:

10:14: Who the hell is Benjamin Cardin (D-MD)? So far I’ve learned that he’s an Oriole fan, and Wikipedia tells me he beat now-Republican Chairman Michael Steele for Senate in 2006. I want Tommy Carcetti to be asking these questions!

But his nephew, attorney and Baltimore County state delegate Jon S. Cardin, is a man who knows how to make an impression. The Baltimore Sun reports:

City police are investigating why on-duty marine and helicopter officers helped a Baltimore County state delegate propose to his girlfriend by pretending to raid a boat the couple were aboard, a department spokesman said Monday.
Officers boarded the boat, owned by a friend of Del. Jon S. Cardin, Aug. 7 in the Inner Harbor. As the helicopter Foxtrot hovered overhead, adding to the sense of tension, one report says officers pretended to search the vessel and even had the woman thinking she was about to be handcuffed before the delegate got on one knee and proposed.

Yes, the fear of getting apprehended and incarcerated is really what marriage proposals are all about. But for some reason, Baltimore officials don’t understand that asking a girl to marry you without the imminent threat of state action is so 2007.
It’s time for some good ol’ fashioned ass covering, after the jump.

First, Delegate Cardin tried to apologize and blame others for using the police as a substitute for a bigger rock:

In a statement, Delegate Cardin gave a toned-down account of the proposal, reported Friday in the Gazette newspapers, which dealt with the news as a whimsical “reporters notebook” item. Cardin described the actions by police as a “5-minute safety check.” He did not mention the helicopter, which police confirmed was used.
Cardin’s statement says that during the “fuss” of the police involvement, “I surprised her with my proposal and she honored me with her answer of ‘yes.'” It continued: “During the evening, I was focused on making my fiancee’s night perfect. In retrospect, I should have considered that city resources would be involved and used better judgment to put a stop to it.”
The delegate promised to contact Baltimore police and to “reimburse the city for whatever costs they deem appropriate.”

Meanwhile, the police officials that gave the go-ahead to the mock raid used a very expansive definition of “protect and serve.”

The police spokesman said that the marine unit — whose members complained earlier this year that the city was endangering the public by grounding them over the winter and spring because of budget cuts — was patrolling the water at the time the mock raid was conducted, and that the helicopter was already flying over the harbor area….
“Most officers want to help out and engage with the public,” Guglielmi said, though he readily admitted that helping a politician with a surprise party is not the same as letting a civilian pet a horse or allowing a child to sit in a patrol car.

You know what they say: you gotta keep the devil, way down in a hole.
Police upset that officers were used in lawmaker’s marriage proposal prank [Baltimore Sun]

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