News in 5 minutes or less with Ryan Miner: Monday, July 27, 2020
Story 1: Cecil County Executive Alan McCarthy files lawsuit against former GOP rival Danielle Hornberger
Cecil County Executive Dr. Alan McCarthy, a Republican, has filed a lawsuit in Cecil County Circuit Court to toss his one-time political rival, Danielle Hornberger, from the November general election ballot.
Read McCarthy’s suit here: McCarthy v. Cecil County Board of Elections and Danielle Hornberger.
McCarthy’s suit alleges his former Republican rival, Danielle Hornberger, failed to file the required financial disclosure forms last November when she placed her name on the June ballot.
The suit also implicitly claims the Cecil County Board of Elections may have illegally conspired with Hornberger to falsify her campaign documents.
“Danielle Hornberger’s filing of this Certificate to run in the general election was void ab initio due to the fact that she failed to file a Financial Disclosure Statement,” the suit says.
“Danielle Hornberger never should have been on the ballot for Cecil County Executive in the June 2, 2020 primary election.”
Hornberger defeated McCarthy and three other candidates in the June 2 Republican executive primary.
Maryland law mandates that candidates seeking elected office file a financial disclosure statement at the time when filing to certify their candidacy with their local board of elections. Accordingly, local ethics laws in Cecil County requires candidates to complete financial disclosure statements when seeking elected office.
Maryland’s election board communicated with the state’s ethics commission to determine whether Hornberger filed the requisite documents with either department, the suit claims.
“No such forms were filed.”
Hornberger failed to file a financial disclosure form “with either the Maryland State Board of Elections or the Maryland State Ethics Commission, according to both the attorney for Cecil County and the local elections board, the suit says.
McCarthy and his attorneys filed suit on July 25.
Lora Walters Involvement
Cecil County’s (former) Board of Elections’ deputy director, Lora Walters communicated with Mrs. Hornbeger, and, on July 7 this year, “a Financial Disclosure Statement signed by Danielle Hornberger on November 5, 2019 unexpectedly appeared,” the suit says.
Walters subsequently filed Hornberger’s paperwork with the Cecil County Department of Human Resources, according to the suit.
An hour later, though, Wolters returned to the county’s Human Resources department “with another copy” of Hornberger’s financial disclosure statement, the suit alleges – this time “with a time and date stamp by the Cecil County Board of Elections of November 5, 2019.”
McCarthy’s lawsuit raises questions over the timestamps on Hornberger’s financial disclosure statements.
“One financial statement has a time stamp (sic) for July 7, 2020 at 11:10 AM by the Department of Human Resources.”
But, the suit says, “another statement on record has a time stamp (sic) for both Department of Human Resources for July 7, 2020 and 12:32 PM and a time stamp (sic) for the Cecil County Board of Elections for November 5, 2019 at 11:37 AM.”
McCarthy’s suit says the time and date stamp machine at the Cecil County Board of Elections is manual, “which can be manually manipulated,” and it pointed out that “The prior Financial Disclosure Statement provided by Lora Walters to the Cecil County Department of Human Resources did not have the Board of Elections time and date stamp.”
According to The Cecil Times, an online media outlet, Lora Walters is no longer employed with the Cecil County Board of Elections as of July 15. It is unclear whether Walters resigned or was fired.
“McCarthy’s lawsuit asks the Circuit Court to rule that the filing of the dubious financial disclosure documents was a “fraud” on the government, voters and the electoral system and that it appeared that Mrs. Hornberger had “willfully” signed a “fraudulent document,” The Cecil Times reported.
Mrs. Hornberger did not respond to A Miner Detail’s request for comment, though she did publish a statement to her campaign Facebook page Monday evening.
“It is my understanding that Alan McCarthy has filed against the Cecil County Board of Elections (sic) challenging the legitimate will of the Republican primary voters who overwhelmingly elected me in the June primary to be Cecil County’s Republican County Executive nominee.”
Hornberger, a part-time district aide to Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD), went to on say that she rejects “the false and libelous accusations in this sore loser’s lawsuit” and looks forward to the suit being dismissed and resolved in her favor.
Until then, Hornberger says, she will defer to her lawyers “for any additional comment while action is pending.”
Hornberger is married to state Del. Kevin B. Hornberger (R).
Emergency Board of Elections Meeting Tuesday, July 28 at 3:00 p.m.
The Cecil County Board of Elections posted to Facebook on Monday night that its president “has called an emergency meeting of the Board” on Tuesday, July 28 at 3:00 p.m.
The meeting will be conducted virtually and by telephone, and, the release says.”
“After the meeting is called to order, the Board will enter in to (sic) closed session to discuss a personnel matter.”
Story 2: Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver dies.
Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver died Sunday after a months-long battle with liver cancer. Culver’s family posted a message to Facebook that Culver “passed peacefully in his sleep surrounded by his family” on Sunday.
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Ryan Miner is the editor in chief of A Miner Detail, an independent, nonpartisan multimedia online news outlet, featuring Maryland politics and news.
Miner is the host of A Miner Detail Podcast, one of Maryland’s most informative and entertaining politics and news podcasts.