Baltimore County courthouse Sun endorsements: Strasdauskas for sheriff, Connolly for register of wills, Mensh for Circuit Court clerk.

October 08, 1998

WHY IS it that after eight years in office Baltimore County Sheriff Norman M. Pepersack Jr. keeps on doing stupid things?

His battles after he first took office with then-County Executive Roger B. Hayden, a fellow Republican, resulted in the county jail being removed from the sheriff's responsibilities.

Feuding got so bad that the current county executive, C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger III, made the sheriff sign a memorandum that limited his department's role in law enforcement. Interagency relations remain so strained that even though Baltimore County has its own police academy, Mr. Pepersack spends extra taxpayer money to train his recruits elsewhere.

The state prosecutor is investigating whether Mr. Pepersack, 64, broke laws in releasing to the media disciplinary records of Anne K. Strasdauskas, 44, whom he fired as a sheriff's deputy. Ms. Strasdauskas, who won back her job through court action, resigned and is running against her former boss as the Democratic nominee. (Mr. Pepersack is also being investigated for his involvement in an amateur mystery movie with nude scenes in it.)

This pattern of poor judgment leads us to endorse Ms. Strasdauskas. Her management background is limited, but her determination is impressive. Mr. Pepersack long ago wore out his welcome.

The choice for county register of wills is easy. Democrat Grace G. Connolly, who was an outstanding chief judge of the Orphans' Court, deserves the job.

For three Orphans' Court judgeships, we support two incumbents, Democrat Julie L. Ensor and Republican Sandra L. O'Connell-Hughes, as well as Democrat Theresa A. Lawler, a lawyer.

For clerk of the Circuit Court, incumbent Suzanne Mensh, a Democrat, gets our support.

Republican State's Attorney Sandra A. O'Connor is running unopposed for a seventh term.

Tomorrow: Harford courthouse

Pub Date: 10/08/98

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