Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said Tuesday that the embattled Howard County sheriff, who has been accused of making bigoted comments, discriminating against employees and retaliating against deputies who did not support his reelection bid, should resign.
The governor joins other elected officials who have called for Sheriff James F. Fitzgerald (D) to step aside.
“I’m very disturbed by the comments,” Hogan said. “I do believe he should resign. I share the opinions of many of the people who think he should resign.”
After a year-long investigation, the Howard County Office of Human Rights recently released a report detailing claims that Fitzgerald made derogatory comments about African Americans, women and Jews. The report triggered outrage in a community known for racial tolerance and inclusivity.
Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman (R) said Monday that he is seeking legal remedies to oust the sheriff.
Hogan said that he does not have the power to force Fitzgerald’s removal but that he would support a move by the House of Delegates to push for an impeachment process. He also said he would like Fitzgerald to resign before that happens.
The Howard County Council and the county’s state delegation have pushed for Fitzgerald to step down. The sheriff has said he will not do so.