Brewster is attacked for prosecutor 'deals'

September 11, 1994|By Glenn Small | Glenn Small,Sun Staff Writer

In his run for Congress in the 2nd District, Del. Gerry L. Brewster has campaigned hard on his record as a former prosecutor and tough-talking crime fighter.

Now Del. Connie Galiazzo DeJuliis, his main opponent in Tuesday's Democratic primary, has launched a last-minute media blitz portraying Mr. Brewster as a prosecutor who "cut deals" with criminals.

"While other state's attorneys were busy locking up criminals, Gerry Brewster was cutting deals with them," says the four-page mailer that was sent last week to about 33,000 Democratic homes. "When he was in the state's attorney's office, over 95 percent of all cases ended in plea bargains or dismissals. Criminals committed their crimes, then struck a deal with Gerry Brewster and got right back out on the street. No wonder Maryland is now the second most dangerous state in the country," the mailer says.

"It's garbage," Mr. Brewster said of Mrs. DeJuliis' radio ads and mailer. "It's a desperate act by a desperate candidate in a desperate situation. Connie attacking me on crime is like Connie attacking Cal Ripken on baseball. It won't work."

Mrs. DeJuliis laughed when told that Mr. Brewster compared his record on crime to Mr. Ripken's records in baseball. "Gerry Brewster's no Cal Ripken, what can I tell you?"

Mr. Brewster defended his record as a Baltimore County prosecutor, charging that Mrs. DeJuliis "doesn't have the numbers to back up her wild accusations."

Mr. Brewster and Mrs. DeJuliis are seeking the seat being vacated by Rep. Helen Delich Bentley, the five-term Republican who is running for governor.

Through most of the spring and summer, they avoided personal attacks. Each had promised not to run a negative campaign -- unless the other drew blood first. Then, several weeks ago, the attacks began, with each blaming the other.

Michael Berman, Mrs. DeJuliis' campaign manager, conceded that her staff had not researched every case Mr. Brewster prosecuted. Their claim that 95 percent of his cases ended in plea bargains or dismissals is based on a state report that shows how many criminal cases in each county go to trial and how many are disposed of in other ways.

The report does not actually call the other dispositions plea bargains or dismissals, but Mr. Berman said other prosecutors indicated that is what is meant.

Because Baltimore County showed only an average of 5 percent of its criminal cases going to trial during the three years Mr. Brewster worked there as a prosecutor, the DeJuliis camp assumed his record was the same, Mr. Berman said.

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