Commissioners Withdraw Redistricting Lawsuit
Three commissioners and three delegates are named in the suit.
The Board of County Commissioners has withdrawn a lawsuit it filed against the state over the legislative redistricting plan.
The lawsuit argued that parts of Carroll County won't be properly represented in the state under Gov. Martin O'Malley's legislative redistricting plan.
According to a statement, the decision to withdraw the lawsuit was made based on the advice of legal counsel and is a direct result of a determination that the county’s suit is not necessary in light of the other legal actions that have been filed.
“For a nominal investment we gave the citizens of Carroll County a seat at the table to fight for the Constitutional principles of one man, one vote and the sanctity of our political boundaries," Commissioner Doug Howard said in a statement.
"Our lawsuit has now proven to be duplicative of the others filed and is therefore no longer necessary. We now stand in strong support of the statewide suit fighting to protect these fundamental interests," Howard said.
The Court of Appeals issued a Motion to Dismiss the lawsuit earlier this month, noting that "the petitioners lack capacity and standing to sue, and the only legal theory asserted in the petition fails to state a valid claim of lack of 'due regard' for political subdivision boundaries, as a matter of law."
A county news release said, "It is important to note that this withdrawal is not a result of the state’ motion or the unfounded allegations made in the motion."
The suit named three commissioners-Doug Howard, Richard Rothschild and Dave Roush, and three delegates-Susan Krebs, Donald Eliot and Nancy Stocksdale.
The commissioners named in the lawsuit stand by their decision to file, saying in a statement that "the county’s filing was not unusual at all. The petition was both legally and ethically correct."
Commissioner Robin Bartlett-Frazier disagrees.
“Finally wisdom prevails," Frazier said. "As the Attorney General affirmed in the 'Memorandum in Support of Motion to Dismiss the Petition of J. Douglas Howard et al' that taxpayers' dollars should never have been used for a redistricting challenge.”