My latest column in The Sun went online before the Harford County Council met on Tuesday evening to consider, among other things, the nomination of Joe Cassilly, the elder brother of the new county executive, to a seat on the county’s Board of Ethics.

It would be a fine nomination, if you don’t mind the nepotism or the fact that Joe Cassilly was disbarred from the practice of law by Maryland’s highest court, or that his response to being disbarred was, “Oh, whatever.”

According to Jason Fontelieu, who first reported Cassilly’s nomination for The Aegis last week, the former county State’s Attorney withdrew from consideration for the post Tuesday evening. That’s just as well. 

Harford County Executive Bob Cassilly obviously still thinks highly of his older brother, who was a county prosecutor for four decades. But, as you’ll understand from the article linked below, Joe Cassilly abused his power and over several years made horrendous judgements in a murder case from the 1980s — enough that the Supreme Court of Maryland disbarred him even after his retirement from county service. 

Published just last month by the American Bar Association: An article about the case by Andrew V. Jezic, a criminal defense attorney who testified against Joe Cassilly before the Attorney Grievance Commission, and Erin A. Risch, who represented the commission in the Cassilly case.  The article states: Prior to the Court of Appeals’ opinion in Cassilly, no state supreme court or federal court had addressed whether a prosecutor’s ethical duty to disclose information favorable to the defense applies to information that the prosecutor only learns of after the defendant’s last direct appeal has been exhausted.

4 thoughts on “Cassilly withdraws from consideration for an ethics post. That’s good, and here’s why.

  1. I had the same reaction as you when I heard about the appointment. If the county executive is close to his brother, let him invite the brother over for Christmas dinner. The expression “fox guarding the hen house” comes to mind.
    My supposition is that the appointee withdrew because the council asked the county executive to have his brother step aside so they would not have to vote on the nomination. That’s a guess.
    You show your usual foresight, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

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