Gansler has filed a separate civil suit, alleging that Henson, who was hired by former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R), violated federal law by orchestrating 112,000 robocalls that told voters they could “relax” because Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) had already won.
The polls were still open when the calls went out to homes in the heavily Democratic and majority African American jurisdictions of Baltimore and Prince George’s County.
Gansler and Henson’s attorney, Edward Smith Jr., have been arguing through a series of legal filings about whether the civil case should move forward while Henson faces criminal prosecution.
“Bad faith can be simply found in the AG’s sound bytes in the media and those of his party members (who) have rallied to protect what they see as the voting rights of the minorities,” Smith wrote in his latest response, filed Wednesday. “How much of this is real, or crocodile tears, remain to be tested, but it smacks of hypocrisy and gamesmanship. This court should not allow it.”
In his most recent filing, Gansler said he was seeking “expeditious action” so that Henson and his company would be punished and prevented from repeating the “illegal conduct.” If Gansler prevails, Henson’s company could face a hefty fine.
In his response Wednesday, Smith said some of Gansler’s arguments were “totally meritless.”
“It is the very State of Maryland that seeks a criminal penalty against Henson, which seeks to have him put the rope in his own hand to hang himself, via the AG for purposes which can only be described as political,” Smith wrote.
Gansler is widely expected to run for governor in 2014.
Henson, who is African American, had primarily worked for Democrats in majority-black jurisdictions prior to being hired by Ehrlich last year.
Besides Henson, Paul E. Schurick, Ehrlich’s de facto campaign manager, was also indicted last week by a grady jury in Baltimore. The criminal indictments were sought by the Office of the Maryland State Prosecutor, which operates independently of Gansler.
A spokesman for Gansler declined to comment Wednesday, citing the fact that the case is pending.