Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk – February 21, 2020

Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk – February 21, 2020

When I last took exception to Ocean City Councilman Mark Paddack’s social media rants, he let it be known to me in a voicemail he would not be standing down. After many years in a police uniform and being unable to weigh in on matters on social media, Paddack said he will continue to express himself and utilize his freedom of speech. I understand his position. Nonetheless, I still believe blustering on Facebook about current affairs is not a professional route for an elected official. I may be old fashioned, but bringing up these concerns at an open council meeting seems more appropriate to me. Nonetheless, here’s an unedited version of one of his two tirades this week regarding the Great Inflatable Race coming to West Ocean City.

“Something does not smell right with a county employee asking Town of Ocean City elected officials to approve a proposal in West Ocean City? Why were none of the elected County Commissioner in front of Town City Councils requesting the $25,000 funding? What Quid Pro Quo is taking place here in the county? Why did an OC Councilman speak on the request for town tax payer funding go to the county employee’s Inflatable Race idea? When the OC Councilman was involved in the business venture?

Only after being confronted on the Conflict of Interest, the OC Councilman agreed to donate profits to charity? This entire situation stinks of cronyism with buddy’s. I heard the Tourism Advisory Board member that voted to send the county employee to the city to ask for funds, suddenly and without warning one of the TAB members found the $25,000 to make the proposal happen in West Ocean City. They came through with the $25,000 to bring the event to Worcester County and keep the event on a private school property,” the post read. “The County employee still refuses to bring the event into the epicenter of tourism in Ocean City. Good luck while Ocean City tax payers fund Fire and EMS services in West Ocean City and County Commissioner refuse to reimburse Ocean City for the $500,000 expense.

Worcester County Commissioners are the Bernie Sander’s of wealth distribution at the expense of Ocean City Property owners to West Ocean City. Sad but West Ocean City (Berlin District) will have one day of bouncy houses. Whoo Hooo. Good luck.”

x




x

Over the two years he has been a Worcester County Circuit Court judge, Beau Oglesby has garnered a reputation for being tough when it comes to sentencing. Last Friday Oglesby handed out 37 years of jail time for two serious crimes.

While an argument could be made Oglesby lived up to his reputation as a heavy-handed judge when it comes to prison time, it seems to me both sentences were fair under the law. Back in February 2018, after being sworn in to his current post after seven years as county state’s attorney, he talked about what he would attempt to do in the years ahead as a judge.

“The bench is elevated so that our perspective could be the very best, that we could see as much we possibly could so that our decisions can be informed and educated,” he said. “Every time I take those steps I will strive to see each issue from that elevated perspective of fairness and justice.”

The more high-profile of the two cases last week involved a negligent manslaughter by motor vehicle case involving the death of a man working in Ocean City as ride-share driver. The defendant, Todd Pivec, had a history of problems with alcohol including driving while intoxicated offenses and was given numerous reprimands throughout his life. He got in his car on Coastal Highway last summer after drinking all day and killed a man with a family.

“This sentence is not an indictment of you as a father, a son or a brother,” he said. “It’s an indictment of what you did that day. You could have avoided this entire incident if you had been strong enough to address your problem. … My job with sentencing is punishment, yes, public safety, absolutely, and the hope for rehabilitation, certainly. … I take no joy in imposing this sentence. I seriously considered everything. You have a life beyond today and you have a responsibility to make the very best of it and I wish you luck. I believe this sentence is appropriate under the circumstances.”

Earlier in the day, Oglesby was even more pointed with his comments to 27-year-old Nacqueese Humphrey, who nearly killed his girlfriend in front of police when he punched her in the face, breaking her jaw and fracturing her skull. Oglesby sentenced the man to 20 years in jail.

“This is at the far end of the spectrum. I’m not sure a sucker punch describes the level of violence in this incident. You ran past police officers and punched her in the presence of several individuals. That is an amazing lack of self-control,” Oglesby said. “You served the better part of four years in Pennsylvania for armed robbery. There was the other incident when you punched another person during a basketball game. You’ve apparently learned nothing from those experiences. There is no excuse for your behavior. The victim has had her life changed forever. I’m not impressed with your effort at an apology. This case demonstrates to me that your actions cannot be excused. … I consider you to be a real danger and you deserve to be removed from the community for a long time.”

About The Author: Steven Green

Alternative Text

The writer has been with The Dispatch in various capacities since 1995, including serving as editor and publisher since 2004. His previous titles were managing editor, staff writer, sports editor, sales account manager and copy editor. Growing up in Salisbury before moving to Berlin, Green graduated from Worcester Preparatory School in 1993 and graduated from Loyola University Baltimore in 1997 with degrees in Communications (journalism concentration) and Political Science.