Md. AG tells newspaper it wasn't his job to break up senior week party

By Jessica M. Karmasek | Oct 25, 2013

BALTIMORE (Legal Newsline) -- Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler said this week it wasn't his job to break up a senior week party at which many were drinking alcohol underage.

Gansler, a Democrat running for governor, was photographed at the party in June.

In an interview with The Baltimore Sun Wednesday, Gansler said he went to the Delaware beach house to talk to his teenage son and then left.

The two-term attorney general, who kicked off his campaign last month, told the newspaper he cannot remember whether he saw any of the teenagers drinking. But he said his son was not.

Even if he had seen others drinking illegally, he said it wasn't his place, as a parent or attorney general, to break up the party.

"Assume for purposes of discussion that there was widespread drinking at this party," Gansler told the Sun. "How is that relevant to me? ... The question is, do I have any moral authority over other people's children at beach week in another state? I say no."

The attorney general contends that his responsibility was to only his child.

But some argue that Gansler, as a parent and Maryland's top lawyer, should have intervened.

The CEO and president of Century Council, a nonprofit that works to combat teen drinking and drunken driving, told the newspaper he was shocked to learn Gansler was at the party. The attorney general appeared in a video for the organization last year.

In looking the other way, Ralph Blackman told the Sun that "you are somehow suggesting that it is OK to break the law."

"It's part of the value systems that go into young people's decision making," he said.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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