Mike McDermott is used to corralling the bad guys after nearly three decades in law enforcement, but an internal Worcester County Sheriff's Department probe leaves him as the accused party regarding an incident involving one of his service weapons.
It is alleged that McDermott improperly secured a spare service weapon, according to his lawyer in a published report. Worcester County Sheriff Charles Martin placed McDermott on desk duty and stripped him of police powers as of July 22, months after this incident occurred. While a subsequent internal review by fellow members of the Sheriff's Department recommended McDermott's police powers be restored, Sheriff Martin has kept McDermott in his deskbound status.
However, some observers see this as a politically motivated act. Sheriff Martin, who is a Democrat and not running for re-election this year, participated in this television commercial for current Delegate (and McDermott's likely opponent) Norm Conway. Delmarva Dealings blogger G.A. Harrison alleges the weapon in question was confiscated by Martin last fall from McDermott's office.
All this raises some interesting questions about timing. McDermott has been on the campaign trail since last September, which means Mike was likely already into the fray when the incident occurred. Had the incident been taken care of immediately it may have slowed McDermott's initial groundwork or induced possible GOP candidates to jump in earlier, so it seems the timing was meant to sway GOP voters into voting for two of Mike's three (perhaps weaker) primary opponents (District 38B is a two-Delegate district.) The obvious "what if?" question concerns the timing had only two entrants been in the GOP primary - would this have come out as an "October surprise"?
The obvious best-case scenario for all involved will be for the matter to be swiftly resolved and return the election to where it belongs - a discussion of the issues facing voters in the Wicomico/Worcester district.