Democrat asks inquiry into Ehrlich aide

January 10, 2006|By JENNIFER SKALKA

The chairman of the Maryland Democratic Party asked the state prosecutor yesterday to investigate whether Edward B. Miller, deputy chief of staff to Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., committed criminal wrongdoing in his work with Grassroots Interactive, the company he founded that played a part in lobbyist Jack Abramoff's elaborate scheme to defraud clients.

While the U.S. Department of Justice and FBI are investigating Abramoff's activities, Democratic Party Chairman Terry Lierman implored State Prosecutor Robert A. Rohrbaugh, an Ehrlich appointee, to examine the "legality of the links between Miller, a high-ranking government official, and Jack Abramoff."

"Your office also should use its authority to uncover where the nearly $200,000 that was received by [Grassroots Interactive] and not `kicked back' to Abramoff and entities he controlled ended up," Lierman wrote in a letter.

Rohrbaugh could not be reached yesterday, and an Ehrlich spokesman would not comment, deferring to the state Republican Party.

"Once again, lacking any positive agenda for moving Maryland forward, the leadership of the Democratic Party engages in smear politics," said Audra Miller, state GOP communications director.

Miller founded Grassroots Interactive in May 2003, according to state business records. Documents show that Miller sold the company just after coming to work for the Ehrlich administration.

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