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BLOG: What Should Dwyer Do Now?

Can Don Dwyer effectively fulfill his duties as Delegate now that he'll likely face criminal charges?

On Thursday evening, Delegate Don Dwyer confirmed the whispers that started swirling in Anne Arundel political circles earlier that morning.  Approximately twenty hours after his near catastrophic boat accident, Dwyer admitted to consuming alcohol prior to operating the vessel. While Dwyer immediately took responsibility for his actions, it does not diminish the seriousness of the incident.

In all, Dwyer and five others sustained serious injuries. Tragically, that number includes four innocent children.  Also, John Moran, a two time Republican candidate for Sheriff, accompanied Dwyer on the boat.  Interestingly, Moran has worked on the police force for the University of Maryland Baltimore County.  Considering he tends to run for political office every election cycle, Moran certainly didn’t need his name attached to this incident.

Keep in mind, Dwyer has said he plans to challenge Senator Bryan Simonaire in the 2014 primary. Perhaps he made this decision knowing he could not win the one Delegate seat in the newly created District 31A. Nonetheless, he recently moved back with his father in Pasadena, which provided him an avenue to seek re-election to Delegate in a heavily conservative area.  All of a sudden, this development puts his political career in serious jeopardy. No matter what, he now has virtually zero chance of unseating the relatively popular Simonaire.

Regardless, Dwyer now has bigger worries than what seat he will choose within the next two years.  After all, he finds more than his political career on the line. Soon, he’ll likely face criminal charges in this matter. Make no mistake; defendants in these highly publicized incidents don’t usually get off with probation before judgment. Instead, those convicted almost always face a period of incarceration.  Thus, it’s completely understandable that Dwyer will get preoccupied with retaining his freedom.

In the meantime, Dwyer’s constituents in Pasadena, Glen Burnie and Brooklyn Park will have a legislator more focused on his legal problems than the ills in their community.  As a result, the taxpayers will remain on the hook for Dwyer’s full salary despite the fact he can no longer devote his undivided attention to the issues that convinced them to vote for him in the first place.  Therefore, Dwyer should do the right thing and resign from office. Really, should Delegates Kipke and Schuh have to pick up his slack while this legal process plays itself out?

Inevitably, some will make this a Republican versus Democrat debate. Yes, in Maryland a disproportionate number of Democrats hold elected office.  Still, how does that mitigate Dwyer’s alleged actions? Besides, Republicans like to tout themselves as tough on crime.  Rather than employing a double standard, they too should join the increasing number of voices suggesting that Dwyer step aside.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

OMG! I can't believe you said that!! August 25, 2012 at 04:53 PM
It is time for him to go. He really has not been an avid contributor to us, his constituents. He's been on his own agenda since he started his "legislator" job (his was never a career) and not ours. He admittedly said his blood alcohol level was at 0.2 (0.08 is the legal limit) and he not only injured himself and another adult, but four children, that's unforgiveable!! He needs to resign NOW!! Enough of the BS and do the right thing for once!!
Alice Chappell August 26, 2012 at 12:42 AM
You know he probably takes his boat out to drink and not worry about getting stopped with DUI all the time. Be interesting to ask the water bars if he is a regular.
Margie September 03, 2012 at 01:15 PM
Dwyer has always voted with his supporting constituents not selling his vote to the rich developers like many of those on our County Council! If you don't like the man stand up and vote in the next election or remain in the shadows and complain. I believe he can still serve our community and should be allowed to do so...I notice that they are still serving and collecting their salary!
Patrick H. September 03, 2012 at 01:24 PM
Although I think this is more of an editorial than an article I would like to respond. To me the problem is not with this delegates drinking - the problem is with a Justice System that allows people to violate the law (if he did violate the law - the court has not yet ruled) with little or no accountability. Hire the right lawyer and you not only receive a PBJ but you do no jail time at all. Alice Chappell - I think it would be more interesting to ask the water bars why they continue to serve someone that appears to be under the influence OR why they continue to serve individuals more than 1 drink per hour knowing that it would put them 'over-the-limit'. Drinking establishments are supposed to be trained in programs such as TIPS so that they know when to stop serving people. If you read the fine print in the law only one employee of the establishment needs to be certified and they do not have to be on site all the time (feel free to correct me if I am wrong). I recently moved to Maryland because it appears to be someplace I want to live and retire in. I see nothing in this delegates voting record that would cause me concern NOR do I see anything that would cause me to hold him to a higher level of accountability than others. I believe that we need to either change the laws or apply them equally and fairly. Take care and find foregiveness if you expect to be forgiven. And vote your convictions. I vote to keep him in office.
Chris W September 03, 2012 at 01:29 PM
Where we're all you folks Carl Snowden was popped for DUI THREE TIMES! Even after three DUI arrests he managed to keep his job as the director of the Maryland Attorney General's Office of Civil Rights. All of you folks calling for Dwyers head are clearly motivated by politics. The the situation was reversed, there would be protests and calls for equal protection under the law.
Alice Chappell September 03, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Snowden has a controlled substtance case that is supposed to be settled September 13th. The last DUI was reopened, because of the controlled substance. DUI are .07 or less, not .2. Snowden would probably have no history of DUI if he had gone by boat. Drwyer was almost 3 times the level of a DUI.
Chris W September 03, 2012 at 08:32 PM
So Alice, Just how many DUIs does Carl need before you call for his Job? He's had three. How many arrests for possession? The law cant treat people differently because they have an "R" next to their name rather than a "D".
Jim Davis September 03, 2012 at 09:24 PM
Let hold our anger until the report comes out. I'm neither defending or attacking Dwyer. If it had been on the highway and he had been drunk, but otherwise driving within the law and someone stone cold sober traveling at high speed rammed him from behind, Who caused the accident? Yes he would get a DUI citation, but the other driver would be charged with the accident. Based on the Inland Navigation Rules and the photographs, the other boat operator may actually at fault for the collision. Dwyer may be partially liable if it is demonstrated his speed was a factor and I'm sure a DUI will come out of it, but the damage location on his boat hints that the other operator was in the wrong when he hit Dwyers boat. It would also be interesting to know the skill levels of both operators, but it seems from what little we know that the boat towing the tubers hit Dwyer's boat on the port side indicating that it should have yielded to Dwyer's. Just for those interested: http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=navRulesContent#15 Rules 15, 16, 17 and 6, 7 and 8.
Alice Chappell September 03, 2012 at 09:42 PM
Snowden was appointed as Director for Civil Rights from the Attorney General. He was not an elected official, so his political affiliation means nothing. He has spent over 20 years fighting for the rights of minorities and was a good candidate this position. He was hired in 2007 with the first 2 DUIs already on his record. The law for probation before judgment is 3 to 5 years and he had completed the time frame between each DUI to be legally cleared. He has stepped down from his position when his rights were violated by John Leopold and he is in the process of suing Anne Arundel County. This whole article was not about Carl Snowden who did not cause an accident while under the influence. My point was that he probably would have not gotten a DUI at all if he had been traveling by boat, instead of a car. Del Drwyer will have his day in court, just like Snowden will Sept 13th. If he is convicted, his position should be removed.
Patrick H. September 05, 2012 at 02:43 AM
I vote for Delegate Dwyer. What did he do while in office that wasn't respectable or lawful? Did he take a bribe? Did he sleep with any staff members? Did he vote his conscious? If he is not in your disctrict then stay out of it - it's none of your business. Do not tell me who I should allow to represent me.
Jerry Shandrowsky September 06, 2012 at 12:46 PM
Chris W., l am offering no defense for Carl Snowden. Still, why should I overlook Dwyer's actions simply because of his party affiliation? To me, that's a double standard. Believe me, I no apologist for Maryland Democrats. Actually, I think many of their policies are ludicrous.
Jerry Shandrowsky September 06, 2012 at 12:47 PM
Patrick H., To clarify, I wrote this as an editorial.
Amy Leahy September 06, 2012 at 01:55 PM
I've lived here for 30 years and Carl Snowden has, for the years I've lived in and around Annapolis, been a constant disgrace to his race. Drugs, alcohol, his dog who bit people (also more than just once)…never spending time behind bars… He may not be an elected official but he has always been in the public eye and a spokesperson for Blacks, having been appointed by various elected officials to fill that role. This is a man who has never been held accountable for his sins and yet many people want to hang Del. Dwyer out to dry because of one offense. Carl Snowden's rights were NOT violated, Alice Chappell. As an appointed official, he served at the "pleasure of the county executive". He only sues because its another platform for him to stand on. And by the way, the driver of the other boat was not watching where he was going, but 'spotting' the kids on the tubes. His boat hit Dwyer's on the left rear while Dwyer was trying to avoid the collision.
Amy Leahy September 06, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Patrick H. - This is why we have elections, right? Now we need to push for term limits.
Mark Patro December 20, 2012 at 11:34 PM
sign the petition http://www.change.org/petitions/michael-e-busch-remove-delegate-don-dwyer-for-driving-a-boat-while-intoxicated
C.stubbins March 01, 2013 at 12:06 AM
I signed the petition...We need to get rid of scum like Dwyer...I personally guarantee if someone dug deeper you would find all kinds of skeletons in his closet..

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