The Anne Arundel County Democratic Central Committee has issued the following press release:
On December 4th, concerned residents of Anne Arundel County watched in dismay as District 5 Councilman Michael Peroutka was voted in as Chair of the Anne Arundel County Council, by all four Republican members of the Council. The three Democrats voted against him.
Michael Peroutka’s election as the leader of the County Council is a direct slap in the face of every citizen of Anne Arundel County. Peroutka has been an enthusiastic supporter of the Alabama Republican Senate candidate – the accused child molester and repeated child abuser – Roy Moore. Peroutka has donated thousands to Moore’s campaign, has travelled to Alabama to campaign on his behalf, and even stood on stage with Moore to celebrate his primary election victory last month. In our view, this conduct is a disgrace and a stain upon our County. Support for anyone who abuses children in any manner has no place in Anne Arundel County. By his conduct, we fervently believe that Michael Peroutka does not represent the values of Anne Arundel County residents. We cannot believe that this needs to be said in 2017, and it is a sad commentary on the state of the Republican Party that it has become necessary to say it: Pedophilia has no place in Anne Arundel County. Support for pedophiles has no place in Anne Arundel County. Michael Peroutka does not represent the values of Anne Arundel County citizens.
Michael Peroutka’s full-throated and unwavering support for Roy Moore – or anyone who would abuse children – must be denounced, and should, without hesitation, disqualify him from ever holding a leadership position in County Government. Moreover, it should disqualify him from continuing to serve on the Council.
We demand that Michael Peroutka step down from his Chairmanship of the County Council, and resign from office. Furthermore, we demand that County Executive Schuh publicly calls for his resignation. The Arundel Patriot recently uncovered that Steve Schuh, himself, donated $1000 to Roy Moore’s campaign, but, we believe, due only to pressure from county residents, that Schuh has reportedly asked for his donation back. While this is a good first step, the County Executive can show that he puts the safety of children before his own political Party by calling for the resignation of Michael Peroutka, immediately, publicly, and without equivocation. If he does not do so, we consider his donation return request nothing more than a cheap political stunt, and that the County Executive actually has no problem with supporting a candidate like Moore, a Republican—no matter his reprehensible conduct and clear unfitness to hold any public office.
Finally, to the three other Republican members of the County Council, Jerry Walker, John Grasso, and Derek Fink: From our point of view, you seem to be either oblivious to Peroutka’s conduct, or you support it. Either option is disheartening. We demand that, at the next Council meeting, you suspend regular order to re-vote on the chairmanship, and to vote for the removal of Michael Peroutka from the County Council. Anne Arundel County values our children and their safety, and we believe the victims. It is our first duty as parents, adults, and citizens to protect the most vulnerable among us, and to foster a safe environment for our children. There is absolutely no justification for allowing Michael Peroutka to openly support an alleged pedophile and to shamefully remain on the County Council, let alone in a leadership position. Our values and our children’s safety are non-negotiable. Out of respect and regard for the residents of our County, and of our children, Peroutka must be removed, and you must act to remove him. If you do not, we call on the citizens of Anne Arundel County to be heard, and to demand action from our elected leaders, on removing this disgrace from the County Council. Speak out, defend our children, and stand for character.
We await the denunciation of Michael Peroutka by all Republican elected officials in Anne Arundel County, and his removal from office. In our view, knowing inaction is, itself, complicity.
Christine Davenport, Chair, Anne Arundel County Democratic Central Committee
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