Showing posts with label Pocomoke Mayor Mike McDermott. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pocomoke Mayor Mike McDermott. Show all posts

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Mayor McDermott To Be Sworn Into House of Delegates On Jan. 12

POCOMOKE CITY, Md. - The town of Pocomoke will soon be losing its mayor, but not just yet.

Mayor Mike McDermott will be sworn into the House of Delegates for District 38-B on Jan. 12.

City officials say McDermott will remain mayor until then. At that point, Robert Hawkins, the First Vice-President of the City Council, will take on mayoral responsibilities, but not the official title. Hawkins will continue to serve as a councilman.

A new mayor will be elected in the city's scheduled elections in April of 2011.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

'Friendliest Town' Offers Many Positives ~~From Mayor Mike McDermott

RE: "Shift in services is a big concern in Pocomoke City," Oct. 11; "Pocomoke residents are looking for some answers," Oct. 12

Public safety is a core mission of government that is taken seriously by Pocomoke City's mayor and council. We have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in technology dedicated to thwarting and reducing crime in our city. This includes a bank of 24/7 targeted surveillance cameras monitored by police personnel. We have also focused efforts on building strong ties and relationships with our young people, in particular those deemed to be "at risk."

This has been done through direct support of the Save the Youth Organization, the Salvation Army Youth Programs, and a host of grant funded programs created and administered by our police department. We are the only municipal government in Maryland to be consistently recognized and awarded each year by the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention for these efforts.

We are an active partner with our local schools and were thrilled last week when Pocomoke Middle School received national recognition as one of the top schools in the nation. Principal Caroline Bloxom and her staff represent everything that is right in fostering a protected, learning environment for our young people. She provides them with hope and a future.

Pocomoke City takes a multi-faceted approach:

~A new comprehensive master plan for growth and development
~Comprehensive zoning review
~Housing enforcement review
~Downtown economic development
~Targeted industrial development
~Engineering studies of critical infrastructure needs.

Considering our city's future needs, we are reviewing options for construction of a new police department facility. Our existing facilities provide a full gymnasium for use by local nonprofits; we are examining ways to continue providing this service. Once all options are identified, they will be discussed openly at a regular meeting of the mayor and council.

With local investment in our downtown, including the Mar-Va Performing Arts Theater, Delmarva Discovery Center, new Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center, Sturgis One-Room Schoolhouse, Costen House and the new riverfront restaurant breaking ground in the spring, it is no wonder new businesses are locating here.

City Hall will remain in its historic location, downtown, irrespective of any potential move by the police department. The city's commitment to a thriving downtown is self-evident.

I recently attended a celebration honoring Bishop Isaac Jenkins for his 50 years of service as pastor at New Macedonia Baptist Church. One can learn much from the dedication and commitment the reverend has displayed over five decades. He always focuses on that which is "good" and "positive," encouraging us to do the same.

Anyone can throw stones, but it takes vision to see how each stone can be used to build up a community. Pocomoke City has been blessed with citizens who gather and build up "the friendliest town on the Eastern Shore."

  • Mike McDermott is mayor of Pocomoke City.


    Friday, October 8, 2010

    Man Charged With Murder Is No Stranger To Jail

    SNOW HILL -- Police arrested a Pocomoke City man for the stabbing death of a teen, charging him with murder.

    James Edward Ballard, 29, of Pocomoke City, was ordered to be held without bond by Judge Gerald Purnell in Worcester County District Court.

    Police charged Ballard with first-degree murder in connection with the death of 18-year-old Russell Matthew Bailey III, also of Pocomoke City. Police also charged him with second-degree murder, manslaughter and first-degree assault.

    The circumstances of the incident were not immediately clear. First-degree murder is a charge that implies premeditation; Ballard told police he was defending himself.

    According to court documents, Pocomoke City Police and Maryland State Police responded at 2:30 p.m. to a reported stabbing in the 700 block of Eighth Street in Pocomoke City, across the street from the middle school.

    Police found the victim lying on the ground, bleeding from a chest wound. In charging documents, police said "numerous witnesses" said they saw Ballard stab Bailey.

    Investigators telephoned Ballard to come in for an interview. At the Pocomoke City Police station, he confessed to stabbing Bailey, calling it an act of self-defense. In charging documents, police allege that Ballard killed Bailey with premeditation, based upon their investigation.

    Pocomoke Mayor Mike McDermott said the event was sad and unfortunate.

    "It's always a tragedy when people resolve anger and frustration with this kind of violence," said McDermott. "I'm glad we know who the bad guy is and we have dealt with the criminal."

    Bailey had graduated from Pocomoke High School in June. Tyrone Mills, the school's principal, said in a statement: "We are deeply saddened to learn of Russell's death. It is a tragedy to lose a young man who had his whole life ahead of him."

    Mills described Bailey as a student who enjoyed working on vehicles in the auto tech program who had aspirations to continue his education after he graduated last spring.

    At Snow Hill District Court early last Thursday, Ballard, the suspect in Bailey's killing, sported a bushy beard and shiny white Air Jordan sneakers with his a navy blue prisoner jumpsuit. He told the judge that he has "a lot of stuff going on" in his life, that he needed a lawyer, and asked for a preliminary hearing.

    Ballard also told the judge he had barely been home two weeks after having spent 18 months in jail for a probation violation.

    In September 2008, a Worcester County Circuit Court judge sentenced Bailey to a year in jail and two years on probation on charges of second-degree assault.

    Months later, authorities learned not only had Ballard moved from Pocomoke City to Philadelphia, but he had been arrested there in February 2009 on drug charges. They also learned of his July 2009 arrest in Hampton, Va., also on a drug charge.

    Both his move and the arrests violated the terms of his probation. As a result, a judge sent him back to jail for another 18 months in November 2009.

    Ballard's criminal record in Worcester and Wicomico counties dates to 1999 and includes other charges for burglary, drug possession, armed robbery, assault and escaping from police custody. No date has been set yet for Ballard's next court appearance.

    Sunday, August 22, 2010

    Del. Candidate, Mayor of Pocomoke On Admin. Suspension As Deputy

    I'm sure alot of you out there have many questions concerning the suspension of the House of Delegates candidate and Mayor of Pocomoke, Mike McDermott. So do I.

    I still don't understand what the big damn deal is about the gun. The gun was locked in his where was it supposed to be? It was his office and the door was locked. Oh, I forgot. Mr. McDermott never opened his mouth to report the gun was missing! Is THAT one of the issues here? Then say so! I had rather know his weapon was locked in his office at work than in a closet at home or in a vehicle. Can't a home get robbed and a vehicle broken into? Who's going to break into the office of an officer unless they are looking for something?

    Read this post below. It puts the whole story in a better light than other articles. The timing doesn't make sense. Why did Chief Martin wait so long?

    Quite frankly, I wish people would get off this man's back and let him live with some peace and quiet. If he has done something so bad than let the taxpayers know. Stop spouting things about him in the attempt to make him look like the bad guy all of the time. And if he is as bad as the written word says then do something about it..........and stop wasting time.

    I no longer live in Worcester County and I'm not sure if that is a blessing or not. But I do know that I would probably vote for him, unless, someone can prove that all he has been accused of by heresay, is the truth.

    I wish Mike McDermott the best of luck.


    Associate Editor

    (Aug. 13, 2010) House of Delegates candidate Mike McDermott, who is also mayor of Pocomoke City, has been on administrative suspension as a deputy with the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office since late July and an investigation is under way.

    Sheriff Charles “Chuck” Martin declined to discuss details of the matter, but the suspension is related to a September incident in which he reportedly found McDermott’s assigned weapon in McDermott’s locked office when McDermott was not there. The weapon was reportedly McDermott’s secondary one; he still had his primary weapon.

    A review board of three members of the Sheriff’s Office has reportedly recommended that the suspension be lifted. It has also been reported elsewhere that no investigation has begun, but Martin said the investigation into the issue started several months ago.

    “A good part of it is being done by me,” Martin said.

    While on administrative leave, McDermott, who is a lieutenant and in charge of the Criminal Enforcement Team, may not carry a gun or make arrests. Prior to being suspended, McDermott had desk duties as part of his work. Now, he is restricted to desk duties.

    When a deputy is off-duty, he is permitted to carry his service weapon, but must have the proper identification as a deputy. If the deputy is off-duty and does not want to have the weapon on his person, he may lock it in his vehicle’s trunk or lock it safe and securely in his house. Some deputies have lock boxes in their homes, Martin said.

    McDermott is the Republican candidate for state delegate representing District 38B, comprised of Worcester County and a part of Wicomico.

    Martin declined to answer questions Thursday about why he waited so long to put McDermott on administrative suspension. Rumors started swirling months ago that someone within the Sheriff’s Office would try doing something to derail McDermott’s candidacy for delegate, but Martin’s name was not mentioned in conjunction with that.

    Thursday, August 5, 2010

    Worcester Co. Sheriff's Officer Lt. Michael McDermott Temporarily Stripped Of Police Powers

    SNOW HILL -- Worcester County Sheriff's Office Lt. Michael McDermott has been temporarily stripped of his police powers while the Sheriff's Office investigated a September 2009 incident involving a service weapon, according to his lawyer. McDermott is the mayor of Pocomoke City and a Republican candidate for the Maryland House of Delegates in District 38B.

    Worcester County Sheriff Charles T. Martin confirmed Wednesday that McDermott's power to arrest was taken away July 22 and said the lieutenant is now on administrative office duty. An incident involving McDermott is being investigated, Martin said, but he declined to comment on the specifics of the case because it is a personnel matter.

    "Those powers remain suspended until they are reinstated by me or the case is adjudicated," Martin said. "It's something that is going to be adjudicated within the system, and he knows the system as well as I do."

    The investigation has nothing to do with McDermott's run for the legislature, Martin said. The sheriff, a Democrat, will step down at the end of his fourth term in November because of health reasons.

    According to Michael Davey, McDermott's lawyer, the suspension stems from a 2009 incident concerning the location of a service weapon assigned to the lieutenant. The gun was in McDermott's office, Davey said.

    "I'm guessing it should have been secured in a better location than his locked office," Davey said, adding that the situation leading to the charges against his client are still unclear. "We are assuming that is the basis for his suspension."

    On July 27, the emergency suspension board -- comprised of members of the Sheriff's Office -- reviewed the charges and recommended that McDermott's powers be reinstated, Davey said. However, their decision is not binding, and final say in the matter will come down to Martin.

    "At this point we are trying to get his police powers returned by the sheriff based on the recommendations of his own staff," Davey said. "We are trying to determine what the basis of this suspension was because we just don't know at this point."

    Saturday, June 5, 2010

    "Last Word Of The Week"

    There seems to have been alot of heated discussions this week concerning the statement that Pocomoke Mayor Mike McDermott made this week to the Daily Times concerning the murder a few days ago in Pocomoke. And naturally because Pocomoke is my home town I hear it all!

    Don't get me wrong. I like the Pocomoke Mayor. I do, however, think he would fair alot better if he would keep his comments out of the "crime business" and leave that up to his Chief of Police. There are alot of people here in Accomack County quite angry and worked up over this. I hope he left some "wiggle room" to get out of it. "Politics" or not Mr. Mayor you need to have a long talk with OUR Accomack County Sheriff! I think the apologies need to begin there and then with the rest of the law abiding people (like me) that visit your town for one reason or another.

    LAST WORD OF THE WEEK Pocomoke mayor's Va. criticism is suspect as written by Ted Shockley, Eastern Shore News:

    Last week a Greenbush man was fatally shot in Pocomoke City, Md. The town mayor was quoted in a report before an arrest was made that its violent incidents were the fault of Virginians

    "I'm weary of the Virginia violence that pours over into Pocomoke City -- the problems that we've had in the past couple years tend to come from Accomack County, and it's really getting wearisome to our city," said Mayor Michael McDermott.

    As it turned out, the man charged with murder resides in a Washington, D.C., suburb of Maryland. In fact, he lived in Pocomoke City in 1993 when he was charged with first-degree murder. The charge was later dropped.

    I'm surprised that the Maryland mayor decided to paint our county as a violent badlands before a Marylander was charged with the slaying of Reginald Jerome Handy Jr., 22, of Greenbush.

    Instead, maybe Accomack County should be a little wary of having such a lawless place so close to our border.

    You would think the self-proclaimed "Friendliest Town on the Eastern Shore" would be a little friendlier with respect to comments about its southern neighbor.

    It led me to think of everything that gets on my nerves about Pocomoke City. I could start with all of the Walmart plastic bags blowing through Accomack County. Maybe someday, those plastic bags could come from our soon-to-be-opened Walmart. Right now, they are imported from the north.

    I could continue with the outrageously long wait at the traffic light at Walmart in Pocomoke City. Or the Pocomoke Christmas Parade, which I stopped attending because I don't like mixing with hooded mobs on sidewalks after dark. (If you want a much nicer after-dark Christmas parade, go to Chincoteague's or Exmore's instead.)

    Or the super-long waits at the former Greene Turtle restaurant on U.S. Route 13. No wonder it's no longer in business.

    Sure, all of that seems petty, but I didn't start the pettiness.

    The truth is, Accomack County spends a lot of money on everything from cars to meals in Pocomoke City. Accomack County provides a lot of Marylanders jobs at the Wallops industrial complex. For two municipalities in separate states, Pocomoke City and Accomack are pretty close and cooperative siblings.

    One wonders if Maryland competition for NASA-related spinoff business and new residents was behind the mayor's criticism of us. People will say anything to lure a job or two.

    In reality, the issue of street shootings is more a societal issue than a geographical problem. When it comes to senseless violence, there are a lot of contributing factors that transcend state lines and municipal limits.

    The mayoral thing to do would be to help find ways to fix the problem before publicly affixing blame.

    NOTE: If you care to leave a comment be sure to think about what you write. I DID NOT post this so the people of Pocomoke (that seem to think they have no use for the mayor ) could have a big time with comments. I merely want everyone to know that Accomack County heard him loud and clear