Candidate’s Email Creates Stir Week Before Election; Authorities Contacted Cryer Over Threats

OCEAN CITY – Only days after making an public apology to the Mayor and City Council for making anti-Semitic comments over social media, Ocean City Council candidate Joe Cryer sent out a threatening email to fellow candidates, sitting officials and a member of a local constituent group.

Cryer first ran for City Council in 2006 but didn’t make the cut. His claims of serving as a Navy SEAL in the Gulf of Sidra in 1986 aboard the USS Caron, where he was then deployed into Libya and killed 77 Libyans from which he was diagnosed with PTSD was proven false in 2011 by the media outlet, Stolen Valor.

Cryer did serve in the Navy for three years during the mid-80s. In an interview with The Dispatch last week, Cryer stated he moved to Ocean City from Annapolis in 2003 where he gave up working for “corporate America” and began Delmarva Veterans Services USA, Inc. to assist veterans in receiving their benefit.

Cryer attended the Citizens For Ocean City Candidate Meet and Greet event held at Seacrets last Wednesday. On Saturday, Cryer directed an email to Mayor Rick Meehan that was sent to most city officials and local newspapers plus a few others regarding his feeling following the event.

“From my understanding it was a meet and greet for all of the candidates. Not just the spineless/uneducated who conceded to the demands of the Police and Firefighters,” the email begins. “Why were the other candidates not allowed to speak? Was this meet the Republican/loser candidates, if that were the case I would have not attended.”

According to Joe Groves of Citizens For Ocean City, none of the seven City Council candidates took the stage during the event to speak. Mayor Rick Meehan, who is running unopposed, delivered a short message, followed by Groves who introduced the candidates to the crowd and directed guests to take the opportunity to speak one-on-one with the candidates.

A video released by Citizens For Ocean City the morning after the event showed the same account. However, the video gives four candidates — Tony DeLuca, Wayne Hartman, Lloyd Martin and Chris Rudolf — individual time to speak but it was filmed privately outside of Morley Hall at Seacrets. The video did not show the remaining council candidates, who at that time were Nancy Bolt, Joe Cryer, Joe Hall and Matt James.

Bolt withdrew from the race the next morning. The same morning Citizens For Ocean City filed a Freedom For Information Act stating, “The request is for information of any inaction/payment, nonpayment or any other business between Ocean Minded Construction/Nancy Bolt and the Town of Ocean City.” Shortly after Bolt withdrew from the election, the request was formally withdrawn.

Cryer’s email targeted several individuals, including Groves. Cryer asserted Groves spoke to him at the event as if it was a burden, and went on to threaten Groves by stating, “meet me in your parking lot any time.”

The email furthers treatment toward Bolt during the meet and greet was unacceptable and that she was isolated for being independent and a woman. Bolt was the only female candidate running for council.

Cryer explained on Thursday that he is under the impression that Meehan threatened Bolt with a lawsuit during the event.

“The mayor threatened to sue her over business she had done with the city. That is my intel. Can I quantify it? No, but I heard from more than one individual that she was threatened over a lawsuit if she kept her name on the ballot,” Cryer said. “I want to see more women on the council. I would have supported Nancy Bolt until I was blue in the face because I thought she stepped up at the right time. She would have been good for the City. I supported [Council Secretary] Mary Knight when she was elected in 2006. If I would have walked away, she would have never been elected, and she knows that.”

Bolt denied the mayor threated to sue her.

“Not a bit of that is true,” she said. “Everyone was fine at the meet and greet. I didn’t have any odd conversations with anybody.”

Cryer’s email also targeted candidate Wayne Hartman.

“If our eyes meet in the public, I will personally track you down no different than hunting a man in combat … you are another parasite riding the Ocean City Development Corporation scam monkey,” Cryer said.

Cryer explained on Wednesday that Hartman is taking down Cryer’s campaign signs.

“He drove by me down by Sunsations at the Route 90 Bridge and he waved his finger at me. It is like a sign war. It is so trivial, but the bottom line is I have to progress at this level to achieve our objective … I want to serve the public,” he said.

According to Cryer, the FBI and Ocean City Police Department contacted him on Monday regarding the email he had sent out over the weekend.

“The result was, ‘stay away from the people you threatened, chill out, relax, take your medication and spend time with your wife,’” Cryer said.

Cryer is still running for council.

“We are in a city where apparently when you run for office it is non-partisan. I am a Democrat. If I said I was Republican, I might be elected but I don’t want to sell my soul to the devil. This is a non-partisan election. They had no right to isolate this young lady [Bolt] and drive her out of the election,” he said. “I don’t want a bunch of fat red neck white boys in City Hall sitting down and running the business. We need to change the direction of the city. All these guys running for election are on the nipple. I am done with these clowns.”

In response, Groves said he is not surprised by Cryer’s actions.

“It is sad that a man who is running for City Council would act so disturbed and threatens people, not just myself but others in town. It is uncalled for and he needs serious help,” Groves said.

According to Groves, OCPD came to him regarding the email.

“They had him at the police station discussing the incident because it was the second occurrence in a week and half, and that he was being told to stay away from me and my properties or he would face being arrested. I was told in a very polite way to be familiar with my surroundings just in case,” he said.