Democrats vote to oust DePazzo from Dundalk club

January 22, 1995|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,Sun Staff Writer

Dundalk's largest Democratic club, angered by Councilman Louis L. DePazzo's support of Republicans and because he called his critics "union thugs," has expelled the 7th District county councilman from membership for two years.

The Battle Grove Democratic Club voted 93-43 Friday night to oust Mr. DePazzo, an 11-year member whom the club backed in his winning bid for Dundalk's council seat last year. He previously served 16 years in the House of Delegates.

Similar punishment was threatened, but not carried out, against Dundalk's Democratic delegates, John S. Arnick and Joseph J. "Sonny" Minnick, as well as Mr. DePazzo's wife, Irene, and his friend and supporter Paul Chesnick.

Feelings ran high at a meeting over Mr. DePazzo's assertion before the club's directors last month that the movement to punish him was entirely the fault of former club president Thomas Baldwin "and his union thugs." Minutes of that meeting were read to members Friday.

Harry Spedden, a field representative for the United Steelworkers of America, was one member who took offense.

"I'm not a thug," he said loudly, with the councilman nearby. "I'm a respected citizen of Dundalk. I resent that very much."

Mr. Spedden said that Mr. DePazzo "turned his back on every union member who ever supported him" by backing Republicans Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. for Congress, Ellen R. Sauerbrey for governor and Roger B. Hayden for Baltimore County executive.

Mr. DePazzo acknowledged backing only Mr. Ehrlich, with whom, he said, he is "close friends."

The motion to expel Mr. DePazzo was offered by Edward M. Pedrick Jr., a club member who is president of Local 921 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Mr. Pedrick's union represents blue-collar Baltimore County workers.

"This club is to support Democrats," he said.

Former Dundalk Del. Connie Galiazzo DeJuliis, who lost a Democratic congressional primary battle to Gerry L. Brewster, also supported the two-year expulsion.

"If you want to be a Republican, register as a Republican," she told the councilman. Democrats outnumber Republicans 4-1 in Dundalk, although Republican candidates have done well there in recent years. Mr. Brewster lost to Mr. Ehrlich by a wide margin.

Mr. DePazzo left the meeting before the votes were counted. His wife and Mr. Chesnick stayed, vowing to resign their memberships, anyway, once the result was announced.

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