Prosecutor assails foe in election

June 29, 1994|By John A. Morris | John A. Morris,Sun Staff Writer

State's Attorney Frank R. Weathersbee, one of three county officials to announce re-election plans yesterday, said his Republican opponent is attempting to frighten the public.

"Beware of a demagogue who could claim to have the easy solution to crime when the person has no experience but the thought of political ambition," said Mr. Weathersbee, a Democrat, during his lunchtime announcement in front of the Circuit Courthouse in Annapolis.

Mr. Weathersbee, the county's chief prosecutor, was referring to John Greiber, an Annapolis lawyer who launched his campaign for the prosecutor's job last fall. Since then, Mr. Greiber has portrayed the incumbent as an ineffective prosecutor who has allowed crime to surge.

Yesterday, Mr. Weathersbee touted his 22 years of experience as a prosecutor. He noted that he had tried 60 criminal cases before a jury, and Mr. Greiber had tried none.

He also stressed his managerial experience, calling the state's attorney's office -- with 30 deputy and assistant prosecutors -- "the largest law firm in Anne Arundel County." Mr. Greiber's experience, he said, has been limited to the management of a Baltimore County liquor store, which he still owns and operates, and a Brooklyn Park pizza parlor, which closed in the early 1980s.

Later, describing his campaign strategy to a reporter, Mr. Weathersbee said, "I hopefully will reveal him for an individual with political ambition who wants to use the office for a political career of some sort.

"I'm a prosecutor, not a politician."

Mr. Greiber dismissed the incumbent's criticisms yesterday afternoon and went on the offensive. He challenged the quality of Mr. Weathersbee's experience, saying the incumbent has only prosecuted four cases in the past eight years.

"When you are talking criminal law, you are not talking rocket science," said Mr. Greiber, who said his practice at Council, Baradel, Koserl and Nolan focuses on constitutional law. "It's the easiest law to practice."

Mr. Greiber also challenged Mr. Weathersbee's management experience.

"What kind of experience is it to go over to the [County] Council and ask for $3 1/2 million to run the state's attorney's office?" Mr. Greiber said. "Frank has never had to make payroll. He's never had to make rent.

"I am everything that Frank wants to be and failed at," said Mr. Greiber, referring to Mr. Weathersbee's brief excursion into private practice in the early 1970s.

Elsewhere in the county yesterday, two County Council members announced plans to seek re-election. George Bachman, a Democrat, said he will seek a second consecutive term representing Linthicum and Brooklyn Park.

Meanwhile, in an announcement at Anne Arundel Community College, Diane Evans, a Republican, disclosed her plans to pursue a second term representing Severna Park, Arnold and Lower Broadneck.

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