The following is the full text of a statement released Tuesday by Maryland State Police regarding comments made by Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler:
STATE POLICE STAND BEHIND EXECUTIVE PROTECTION TROOPERS
(PIKESVILLE, MD) – The Maryland State Police believe comments made by the Maryland Attorney General today about the Commander of the Executive Protection Section are baseless and inappropriate. The Department continues to stand behind the statements made by seven troopers who made written reports in addition to other troopers who made oral reports from the Executive Protection Section whose concerns were detailed in emails recently required to be released to media pursuant to requests under the Maryland Public Information Act.
In a television interview broadcast today, the Maryland Attorney General referred to the Commander of the Executive Protection Section as a ‘henchman’ and implied his actions were motivated by politics. This reference to Lt. Charles Ardolini is unseemly and unacceptable. Lt. Ardolini has served in the Executive Protection Section for almost 13 years, as a trooper providing protection, as a supervisor, and, for the last eight years, as the commander of the section. He worked under the administrations of Governor William Donald Schaeffer, Governor Parris Glendening, Governor Robert Ehrlich, and Governor Martin O’Malley.
As Commander of the Executive Protection Section, Lt. Ardolini reports to Lieutenant Colonel William Pallozzi, Chief of the Support Services Bureau. Lt. Col. Pallozzi served as a trooper providing protection, as a supervisor, and as a commander of the Executive Protection Section for 11 years, working for three administrations. “The role of anyone assigned to the Executive Protection Section, including the commander, is to fully focus on providing for the safety and protection of the elected officials we are assigned to protect,” Lt. Col. Pallozzi said. “We are to remain completely unattached and unaffiliated with any political party, cause or candidate. 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. I have worked with and supervised Lt. Ardolini for more than 20 years and find his character and his commitment as a member of the Maryland State Police to be above reproach. The concern of Lt. Ardolini was solely focused on the safety of the protectee, his troopers, and the general public. His actions, which occurred two years ago, had absolutely nothing to do with any political motivation.”
The Maryland State Police believe the members of the Executive Protection Section work very hard to be impartial. Lt. Ardolini’s conduct was nothing but professional. His memorandum was the result of ongoing safety concerns expressed to him by his troopers over a period of time that culminated with actions witnessed by the Lieutenant himself. He ultimately reported his concerns up his chain of command to the Superintendent of the Maryland State Police. Lt. Ardolini would have been considered negligent in his duties had he not done so. Lt. Ardolini did not make these documented concerns public. The documents became public due to a request by the Washington Post under the Maryland Public Information Act.
The Maryland State Police Executive Protection Section role remains that of protection, security, and safety, not politics.