In a news release, the leadership of the state police called Gansler’s comments “unseemly and unacceptable” and said he had impugned the integrity of all troopers who provide protective services to high-ranking state officials.
Complaints by troopers that Gansler ordered them to drive with lights and sirens and to drive on the shoulder were compiled in a 2011 memo by Lt. Charles Ardolini to his superiors. When troopers balked, Gansler would often activate the emergency equipment himself, according to the police accounts, which were published over the weekend by The Washington Post.
On occasion, Gansler would drive himself, once running four red lights with lights and sirens, police said.
“Attorney General Gansler has consistently acted in a way that disregards public safety, our Troopers safety and even the law,” Ardolini wrote.
Appearing on NewsChannel 8’s “News Talk,” Gansler said, “That story was based on one of the O’Malley-Brown henchmen. The guy actually works in the governor’s mansion.”
Host Bruce DePuyt asked Gansler, a former Montgomery County state’s attorney, if he had ever asked troopers to put lights and sirens on so he wouldn’t have to sit in traffic.
“Not once,” he replied.
Gansler also told DePuyt that he couldn’t have directed the troopers to do anything because state police report to the governor, not the attorney general.
“I didn’t order them to get a ham sandwich,” Gansler said. “They don’t work for me.”
Gansler said the disclosure of Ardolini’s memo was part of a campaign being run by Brown built on “dirty politics, dirty tricks, pulling out some memo that some, you know, henchman wrote two or three years ago.”
In a statement, Brown said that “this is a matter between the State Police and the Attorney General and beyond that I don’t have any further comment.”
Lt. Col. William Pallozzi, Ardolini’s superior, said Ardolini and others in the executive protection section remain “completely unattached and unaffiliated with any political party.”
“To accuse someone in the Executive Protection Section of a politically motivated action impugns the integrity not only of that individual, but of every one of the dedicated troopers who works in this difficult and demanding assignment,” Pallozzi, chief of the support services bureau, said in a news release issued on behalf of the state police leadership.
“The concern of Lt. Ardolini was solely focused on the safety of the protectee, his troopers and the general public,” Pallozzi said.
The release, titled “State Police Stand Behind Executive Protection Troopers,” said that Ardolini’s memo “was the result of ongoing safety concerns expressed to him by his troopers.” Ardolini would have been “negligent in his duties” if he had not alerted his superiors, it said.