Winchester Hall

The Winchester Hall county office building on East Church Street.

When it comes to Frederick County politics, not many subjects have been more contentious recently than the 287(g) agreement, and the topic was again a focal point of two meetings in Winchester Hall this week.

At Tuesday’s County Council meeting, roughly a few dozen people filled seats in the first-floor hearing room at Winchester Hall, most of them wearing red shirts. Their objective: to show support for Sheriff Chuck Jenkins and the 287(g) program.

The 287(g) program between U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the sheriff’s office provides training for sheriff’s deputies and allows them to ask about immigration status for anyone booked into the county’s adult detention center and begin deportation proceedings if necessary.

One speaker Tuesday was former WTOP reporter David Burd. Burd called himself the “canary in the coal mine” for council members, saying he spent many years reporting in the county and knew “regular” citizens, not just political elites and the upper class.

He added that he didn’t like the tone some in the public were using toward Jenkins and the 287(g) program.

Earlier this month, County Executive Jan Gardner (D) and some council members announced that the county would conduct an audit of the program, specifically at county funds used in the program.

Burd didn’t object to that audit. He did, however, support Jenkins and the program.

“I’m going to be your canary, and listen to me carefully, because I’m not the only one that thinks this,” Burd said. “Chuck Jenkins is the gold standard in law enforcement. You may not like his rough and gruff personality, but there’s a reason why a lot of us move to Frederick County.”

He added that if the County Council and any other officials want to consider ending the agreement, they should leave it up to a referendum and county voters.

Several other speakers Tuesday shared Burd’s opinion. That included Clark Price, former police chief of Brunswick.

“We’re at a crossroads in the nation, in this state,” Price said. “287(g) has been a successful program, and I completely support the sheriff with it. He’s out front and doing the right thing.”

The day before, discussion about the program struck a different tone. John Daniels, vice chair of the Charter Review Commission, asked County Attorney John Mathias about a provision in the charter concerning county contracts.

Under Article 4 of the charter, the duties of the county executive include, in part, “signing or causing to be signed on the County’s behalf all deeds, contracts, and other instruments.”

Daniels said he had gotten a lot of inquiries about that provision from county residents and requested an opinion from Mathias on how his office interprets that provision as it relates to the 287(g) program.

Mathias agreed to draft an opinion, but said the sheriff’s office operates under the state charter. The county is obligated to pay “necessary expenses” to run the sheriff’s office, which has been a legal gray area, Mathias said.

“Even if you put something in the charter, it’s not going to be binding on the sheriff because state law overrides it,” Mathias said of any possible changes to the charter regarding 287(g).

County official discusses timeline for legislative priorities

County Council members will soon have to determine what they want the Frederick County delegation to prioritize in 2020.

Roger Wilson, government affairs and public policy director in County Executive Jan Gardner’s office and a city of Frederick alderman, detailed a timeline for council members, including an Oct. 9 town hall Gardner will host on legislative priorities.

Council President M.C. Keegan-Ayer (D) said because of scheduling conflicts, council members would not be able to submit a package of legislative priorities by Sept. 17. That would be delayed until Oct. 1, she said.

Wilson urged council members to stay in contact with him and delegation members when they convene next year.

“The 90-day session is fast-moving, dynamic, and I would hope that we stay in close contact, communication,” Wilson said. “Especially when there are position statements being asked for from the county, so I’m hoping there will be close collaboration during that 90-day session.”

Follow Steve Bohnel on Twitter: @Steve_Bohnel.

Steve Bohnel is the county government reporter for the Frederick News-Post. He can be reached at sbohnel@newspost.com. He graduated from Temple University, with a journalism degree in May 2017, and is a die-hard Everton F.C. fan.

(38) comments

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marinick1

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Lev928

The LAST thing Frederick County should be doing is trying to be like Montgomery County. Regardless of how many transplants from MoCo now live in Frederick City and the county, and no matter how much they've invaded local politics, the Constitution and law stands taller than all of them put together. If you want to understand what that means, watch when federal obstruction of justice and state misconduct in office charges are brought against Montgomery County elected officials, law enforcement administrators and department of corrections administrators. It won't be so liberally funny any more. That day will be coming soon.

timothygaydos

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KellyAlzan

Not participating in 287 does not make a County/city a Sanctuary County/city.

KR999

Read Lev's comment again Alzan, and pay close attention to his wording. He never said that not participating in the 287(g) program did make a county/city a sanctuary county/city.

KR999

Read Lev's post again Alzan, and pay close attention to his wording. He never said that not participating in the 287(g) program did make a county/city a sanctuary county/city.

Lev928

The 287(g) program does not have an expiration date and it is not a contract. It is a federal tool via law that enables state, county and local law enforcement to assist ICE in enforcement of federal laws. The only part of it that is being subjected to contractual questioning is the funding. If federal funding were to end, they would have to amend the federal law first. Then ... and only then ... could the county seek to end the program under budgetary constraints. Regardless, that would in now way force the sheriff's office to cease participation in the program.

timothygaydos

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DickD

Where I agree is the State charter controls the Sheriff's office. But the State cannot dictate what contracts the County signs and approves. There also a question of how long such a contract lasts. Jenkins signed this contract in 2008. Contracts do not last forever. So, we have a contract, signed by Jenkins who is not currently authorized to sign a County contract and it is doubtful that the County ever autorized money to be spent on 287 (g).

Besides, the County Executive can go to the legislative body and ask for legislation.

ResUrbana

Montgomery County MD just became a sanctuary city. Within a month or two of this happening, an illegal immigrant was arrested for rape. He should’ve been handed over to ICE to begin deportation. However, he was released back in to the community, due to the county not cooperating with ICE. Just horrible.

KellyAlzan

Not quite accurate.

Comment deleted.
KellyAlzan

Read my post again. Pay close attention to my wording

timothygaydos

don't try to present facts to these liberals who hate when folks want to stop crime even crime being committed by illegals they rather have rapists, drug dealers, murderers, walking their streets so they can support the liberal socialist agenda. Notice how they always want to use tax payers $$$ to provide things to those who are not here legally to begin with... too funny and they wonder how someone got elected in 2016 when their candidate was to win so big!

KellyAlzan

ResUrbana didn’t present any facts. That’s the problem

KR999

And you've never presented any proof that Santos got a settlement, let alone enough of one to make her a millionaire as you claim.

Lev928

Kelly is right ... Montgomery County has been a sanctuary county for years now. What ResUrbana is absolutely correct about is that Montgomery County officials failed its legal citizens. Historically and statistically, these two will be repeat offenders ... if this is even their first offense (which is highly unlikely).

timothygaydos

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FrederickFan

Why is the Sheriff opposed to an audit?

richardlyons

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Rockfish

I don't think he is opposed to an audit. I believe he's worried about having an effective crime fighting tool removed from his toolbox. "“I face this argument every year, the costs, the costs, the costs,” he said at the community meeting May 29. “Every imaginable cost for the program is paid for by ICE,” he said.



“Over the course of 11 years, it has cost us a total of one-tenth of 1% of our detention center budget," said the sheriff. "That’s $134,356 to deport 1,671 criminals. So that’s a cost of $80.40 per criminal, to turn that criminal over to ICE and have your county get rid of them so they don’t commit another crime," he added.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/washington-secrets/ice-program-cuts-deportation-costs-to-just-80-local-cops-embrace

gabrielshorn2013

Agreed Rockfish. The Sheriff has been in government service for a long time and understands that period audits are SOP to demonstrate that taxpayer funds are spent appropriately. I don't know why some folks keep claiming that he is afraid. He isn't.

KellyAlzan

How many audits has the sherf been through?

gabrielshorn2013

Dunno kelly. Your insiders should be able to tell you, so ask them. Anyone that works for the government, or has a government contract knows that there will be periodic audits. I have been through several audits, both Federal and State, for my work. It is SOP.

KellyAlzan

i asked a specific question. I didn’t ask about you, nor did I question the aspects of audits

gabrielshorn2013

Fair enough kelly. Now for my specific question, How much did Ms. Santos get in her settlement?

KR999

Agreed gabe, Kelly has mentioned many times here that she has family members who are in law enforcement so she, for one, should be able to find out how many audits the sheriff has been through, wouldn't you think?

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Comment deleted.
KellyAlzan

Santos won, Trumpkins lost!!

BunnyLou

Gold standard indeed! Keep up the good work Sheriff Jenkins.

marinick1

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gabrielshorn2013

How much was the payout kelly? I haven't seen anything in the paper about it.

KR999

Kelly won't answer you Gabe because she doesn't have a clue if Santos even got a settlement, let alone how much if she did get one. Kelly keeps spouting off about Santos being a millionaire now only because she (Kelly) is the president of the I Hate Sheriff Jenkins Club.

KellyAlzan

Reid - Santos was awarded a settlement. As reported in the......FNP

gabrielshorn2013

For how much kelly? We are aware that Ms. Santos was awarded a judgement, but as far as I can tell, the amount is still in litigation. You say she won the lottery here, but I cannot find any story announcing any settlement amount. I'm just asking where I could find that information, because you seem to know.

KellyAlzan

Case is closed. Settlement is sealed. Very common with govt cases. Being her atty got no less than 40%, knows no how suits against governments work, let’s just assume It was no less than $1.5

gabrielshorn2013

I am very familiar with how lawsuits work kelly, including government cases. There would have been some notice stating that the case was closed, and the information on the case and judgement amount sealed. But nothing. Not even in a LexisNexis search. Interesting...

KR999

Gabe, Kelly just posted how much Santos' settlement was for. But I didn't know that a buck and a half qualified her as a "millionaire," as Kelly has repeatedly said she now is. Yep, interesting.....[lol][lol][lol]

KellyAlzan

it is what it is.

KR999

No Alzan, once again you're wrong. The FNP never said she was awarded a settlement, only that she had won a suit. This is the latest on the matter from the FNP, dated Feb. 23rd of this year: "Santos’ original lawsuit sought $1 million in damages from the county." And also: "After 10 years of reporting for periodic check-ins, Santos was abruptly detained by ICE a week before she was due to participate in settlement talks in the lawsuit against Frederick County." So where did you get your info that she was awarded a settlement for a buck and a half, Alzan? I quoted you the latest from this paper, how about you putting up your sources? Hmmm?

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