The Anne Arundel County Sheriff's Race: No Love Lost Between Bateman and Jameson ~ Annapolis Capital Punishment

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Anne Arundel County Sheriff's Race: No Love Lost Between Bateman and Jameson

One sounds like a popular super-hero crime fighter  and the other's name is shared by a popular whiskey brand and while they are both law enforcement professionals, the election for Anne Arundel County Sheriff  is pitting two bitter rivals against each other. Ron Bateman, a Democrat, is seeking re-election and is challenged by Republican Patrick Jameson

The Sheriff's Office is responsible for protecting the courts,  transporting inmates, handling evictions, and serves warrants, summonses, subpoenas, wage garnishments, show cause orders, papers in divorce proceedings, and various other types of court related documents.

Bateman, 50, is a county native and worked his way up to captain of the northern district of Anne Arundel County Police, then served as chief deputy sheriff until assuming his present position in 2006. He has a  BS from the University of Baltimore and further education with the FBI.

Jameson was a MD state trooper and got his MBA from Johns Hopkins during that time. He went on to become president of the state's largest police union, an executive and administrative role for an organization he says is bigger that the Sheriff's Office.
Bateman, referring to Jameson as the “other guy” says that Jameson quit law enforcement over 11 years ago, never achieving the rank of first-line supervisor or command level.  He said the “other guy” was employed at Oracle and subsequently quit.

Jameson answers that he wanted to pursue a career in the technology area of law enforcement and security and was head of homeland security for the giant Oracle Corporation for one and a half years. He then decided to take a position with a startup corporation that failed. 

Bateman says Jameson, who he calls the “other guy” is no longer employed at On Target Communications and asked about where he has been employed 2008. (Jameson provided more details in a lengthy letter to me....websites are provided at the end of this story)

Jameson says that when he decided to run for sheriff, he sought out Bateman and his Chief Deputy Paul R. Tabor who also serves as Bateman's campaign manager. Jameson says he expressed his feelings that this was not to be a personal situation, that it's an elected position. He says that Bateman and Tabor said it indeed would be a personal thing because Jameson was after their jobs. Tabor said that "Jameson and I have never discussed the campaign."

I asked Tabor if both he and Bateman receive county police pensions in addition to their current salaries. Tabor replied, "Yes, the Sheriff and I are receiving pensions as we are retired from the county police, we did not quit like some other people I know."

Working on a tip from Jameson (whose source I did not divulge until Jameson wrote his "coverup" claim--read on), I asked Tabor about a recent incident in which a deputy was involved in an auto accident and wrote the following here on ACP: “Anne Arundel County Sheriff's Deputy Christopher Rio was driving in an unmarked official sheriffs vehicle westbound on Route 50 in Prince George's County and hit an unoccupied vehicle. It was September 19th and Rio was off duty. According to Chief Deputy, Major Paul Tabor, Rio is 'no longer employed' with the Sheriff's Office.”

The next day Jameson sent out a news release stating "A serious accident occurred with an off-duty deputy out of the county jurisdiction costing a lot of taxpayer money (wrecked police vehicle, loss of a Sheriff’s Deputy, manpower/training hours, towing, gas, etc) and Sheriff Bateman issues NO press release, makes NO public statement and makes NO mention of the accident and loss of a deputy until confronted by a reporter nearly three weeks later. The taxpayers deserve the truth. This reeks of a typical good old boy cover-up."

Well, I did not exactly confront Tabor or Bateman, nor did I believe there was a "coverup" and Tabor did give me the truth, bit does beg at least one question which is why did the Sheriff's office, which often sends out news releases, not make any public mention of this apparently serious incident? It appears that an official car may have been wrecked and that the deputy lost his job as a result of it.

Jameson wrote "What were the circumstances of the accident? Hit an unoccupied vehicle? How? Where was Deputy Rio going out of the county and why? Was alcohol a factor or involved and was a preliminary breath test given? How many other departmental accidents had Deputy Rio been involved in and is the department being sued as a result of his current or previous vehicle accidents? Why wasn’t there an internal investigation and why is Rio no longer employed? Did he resign? Was he fired? Why weren’t charges brought against Rio if necessary, regardless of his agency status? Was the law enforcement officer’s bill of rights followed? What does the accident report say happened? Too many unanswered questions."

Jameson is correct and asks a lot of good questions, but again, it is not a coverup. According to Tabor, the state police did not file any charges, but that begs other questions about the state police, and not necessarily about Sheriff Bateman. However, I still wonder why a statement was not issued immediately after the auto collision, but one can read between the lines, considering that deputy appears to have been removed from his position as a result.

Tabor said that "It is not standard procedure to report to the press every time a deputy is involved in a departmental accident, especially one without injury. Remember, he struck an unoccupied vehicle and the matter was investigated by the Maryland State Police."  In 2010 there have been 10 departmental accidents involving members of the Sheriff's Office. In 6 cases discipline was administered, and none were reported to the press as per standard operating procedures.

The Chief Deputy Tabor, in obvious reference to Jameson said, "the bottom, line is this, when you have no credentials, support, or money, dirty tactics are all that is left."

Jameson went on to ask other questions, but unfortunately, provided no answers. He asks "why is former Deputy Vicki Holmes no longer with the Department? Is a current Deputy placed on administrative duties for sexual misconduct allegations while on duty?"  He claims that "Sheriff Bateman’s behavior in covering up of official police misconduct costs the taxpayer’s money and is not an acceptable way to run a police department."

I don't know about a cover up, but I don't see dirty tactics either. I just see what seems to be playground talk and wish they'd all behave a bit more like gentlemen.

Jameson also provided me with a plethora of background information, but I suggest readers simply visit the websites for the two candidates to see for themselves:

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