The chairman of the Baltimore County Republican Central Committee said he will ask fellow Republicans to support a resolution that would call on elected members of the party to resign their public offices if they are convicted of a crime and incarcerated.
“This is not about any one particular member of the party,” said John Fiastro.
Under the terms of the resolution, the Republican Party would expect any Republican elected official to leave office if they are convicted of a crime and incarcerated. The resolution does not legally require the official to step down but should that not happen, the party would not endorse or support that official’s re-election.
Fiastro announced his intent to introduce the resolution on his Facebook page.
Over the last five years a number of Republican public officials have been arrested and charged with crimes.
Most recently, Del. Don Dywer was charged and convicted of operating his boat and later a car while under the influence of alcohol. As part of his sentence the Anne Arundel County Republican will serve 30 consecutive weekends in jail.
Earlier this year, Baltimore County Councilman Todd Huff pleaded guilty to operating his county-owned car while under the influence. He was given a one-year suspended jail sentence and two-years of supervised probation.
In March, Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold was sentenced to 30 days in jail after being found guilty of misconduct in office.
And in 2008, Del. Bob McKee stepped down in 2008 after the FBI raided his home and discovered child pornography on a computer. He was later sentenced to 37 months in a federal prison.
Fiastro said his resolution “sets a baseline that says don’t get arrested, don’t get convicted and don’t get incarcerated if you’re in office,” Fiastro said. “This is not about any one person. This is about the integrity of the party. How can we call out Democrats if we’re not willing to call out members of our own party?”
Fiastro said he would have liked to introduce a resolution that would have applied to any Republican who is arrested and convicted even if they do not serve time in jail but he said he did not believe there was support for resolution that would require the same of officials who are only convicted of crimes rather than incarcerated.
The resolution, which will be introduced tonight, will be voted on Saturday during the party’s fall convention in Annapolis.
“I’m most confident the party will do the right thing,” Fiastro said. “This resolution strengthens the integrity of the party. A vote against it weakens the integrity of the party.”