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Delegate Apologizes for Using Officers in Marriage Proposal

By Peter Hermann
Baltimore Sun
Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Maryland Del. Jon S. Cardin, under fire for using Baltimore police officers in a staged marriage proposal, apologized Tuesday to the police commissioner, who said he has ordered detectives to find out "what resources were used, how they were used and who was involved."

"He offered an apology for putting the Baltimore police department in this kind of predicament and spotlight," Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III told reporters.

Cardin (D-Baltimore County), who released a statement Monday that he was focused on his soon-to-be fiancée and could have used better judgment, did not return calls for comment. His legislative aide, Jonathan Schwartz, said the delegate was on vacation and difficult to reach.

Cardin proposed to Megan Homer on Aug. 7 aboard a boat in the Inner Harbor, using on-duty marine and helicopter officers in a mock raid. Just as an officer looked as though he was about to handcuff Homer, the ring appeared. Cardin has promised to reimburse the city for any money spent on his behalf.

But Scott Peterson, a spokesman for Mayor Sheila Dixon, said she is more concerned with learning who approved the incident.

Robert F. Cherry, president of the city police union, said that just because the officers participated in the stunt did not mean that they were unavailable to perform their duties.

"What's getting lost in this conversation is the fact that both units were . . . in the area and in service, ready to handle any 911 requests," he said.

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