WHAT IS IN THE WATER IN THE CHARLES COUNTY COURTHOUSE?
BY JOHN O’CONNOR
THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY
NEWS AND COMMENTARY
In a predictable turn of events, yet another public employee in Charles County has come under the spotlight for misconduct. The latest events highlight Michele Harewood, Public Defender, and her despicable and belligerent behavior, which might lead to her being reported to the Attorney Grievance Commission.
Public Defender Michele Harewood made her way to the Charles County courthouse to attend to her duties of making plea deals for criminals when she was stopped by deputies at the entrance. The deputies were conducting a routine inspection, which required them to check the belongings of everyone entering the courthouse. Despite boasting that she had no suspicious items and was a public defender, Harewood was still stopped and rightfully subjected to the same inspection process as everyone else.
When you visit a courthouse, it is a common practice to be subjected to a search. This applies to everyone, regardless of their profession or status. Law enforcement officers not on official duty are not authorized to carry firearms within the courthouse premises. The same rules apply to all visitors, including public defenders, state attorneys, and lawyers alike. Therefore, they are not exempt from this regulation and must comply with the same security measures as any other individual when requested.
In this case, the self-entitled and out-of-control public defender disagreed with the chief judge’s policies and became argumentative and hostile with deputies. She refused to remove the jewelry and her belt. She created a scene by screaming and yelling when told to leave. She then proceeded to assault an officer of the law.
Unfortunately, it appears that she was not taken away in handcuffs and fully processed into the jail at Charles County. She would have been right at home with all the defendants she loves to represent. Instead, she was given the luxury of having a statement of charges filed against her. According to court documents, the complainant is Robert Padgett Sr., represented by the States Attorney’s Office for Charles County.
The public defender’s office was contacted for comment, which was provided by Melissa Rothstein, Chief of External Affairs, Maryland Office of the Public Defender:
“District Public Defender Harewood is a zealous advocate and dedicated public servant, and the Maryland Office of the Public Defender maintains full confidence in her,” said Rothstein.
The public defender’s office does not want accountability in the criminal justice system unless it is with the police. Their people can allegedly booze it up, use drugs, and assault deputies, but it’s a personnel matter, so they can’t comment. This is not surprising from a hypocritical and one-sided criminal justice system and even more so not shocking as half the lawmakers in Annapolis are lawyers who don’t want their dirty laundry aired out.