I have come to the conclusion that Baltimore County Councilman Todd Huff (R) should resign.
Todd Huff was arrested for a DUI in a County owned vehicle at 3:00 AM. He blew a 0.2 BAC, nearly three times the legal limit. Imagine for yourself the following scenario:
You take a company vehicle out to some bars one night. You get very drunk. You drive yourself home in said company vehicle and get arrested for a DUI, failing all sobriety tests given to you on the spot. You yell at the officers telling them, “Do you know who I am?”
After the above scenario, what do you think happens to you? Do you get fired? I’d say so. The same should hold true for Huff.
While he’s an elected official and he can not just be fired (and I doubt the County Council will do so much as reprimand him), he should resign his post. He has violated the public trust and while all people can be granted forgiveness, there are still consequences to your actions. He violated the law, blatantly disregarding public welfare with his actions. I do not think it is outlandish for us to expect our politicians to not violate the very laws they draft. Huff needs to step aside and let the people of his district select a suitable replacement who can serve his term, serve the people, and hopefully not also violate the law so flagrantly.
We should not feel the need to defend those on our side who break the law. They broke the law – let them deal with the consequences and grant the people an opportunity to have a public servant who has not violated the law.
UPDATE 2/25/12 02:26 PM One concern I’ve heard is that if Huff does resign, the County Council will get to replace him with whomever they chose. Not so, according to our County Charter:
A vacancy occurring in the office of councilmember prior to the expiration of his term shall be filled within thirty days after the vacancy occurs by appointment by the county executive of the person whose name shall be submitted to him in writing by the state central committee members representing the political party to which the previous member belonged, and whose legislative district is wholly or partially included in the councilmanic district in which the vacancy has occurred. Each of these members is entitled to one vote for each precinct in which his or her name was on the ballot. If the previous incumbent was not a member of a political party, then the county executive shall appoint the person selected by the remaining members of the county council. The member so appointed shall reside in the same councilmanic district as his predecessor and until his successor shall qualify.
Meaning? The County Executive appoints from a list provided by the local Republican Central Committee. So, he must be replaced with an appointed Republican. Not ideal, but not the worst of options.