Grand Jury Convened To Investigate Robo-Calls

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A state prosecutor has convened a grand jury to investigate what some called political dirty tricks surrounding last year’s hotly-contested governor’s race.

Kelly McPherson has the new case developments.

In the final hours of a heated governor’s race in November, controversy spread across Maryland as more than 100,000 voters received a robo-call telling people that Martin O’Malley had been re-elected and so they didn’t need to vote.

Many called it a shady move to keep Democrats away from the polls.  Days later, a political operative for the Ehrlich campaign admitted he ordered the calls.

“I’m on the Bob Ehrlich team.  We thought that a call like that would help and we made the call,” said Julius Henson.

WJZ has learned that a grand jury is convening to investigate the robo-calls.  Several subpoenas have been issued, including one to WJZ.  The subpoena is for video of an interview we did last November with political operative Julius Henson.

“I’m not going to throw Bob Ehrlich or Bob Ehrlich’s team under the bus.  It was a decision that was made in the heat of the campaign,” Henson said.  “Mr. Ehrlich had probably no knowledge of the call.”

Henson and others responsible for the call have already been named in a federal civil suit by Maryland’s attorney general.

“This was with the intent to suppress voter turnout,” said Attorney General Doug Gansler.

Now whomever is named in the grand jury hearing could face jail time.

“It’s far worse to be faced with a criminal case rather than a civil case because obviously the repercussions are going to be worse.  That said, a criminal case has a much higher burden of proof to be able to sustain his case,” said attorney Bill Sinclair.

Henson earned tens of thousands of dollars from the Ehrlich campaign and says he doesn’t think he did anything illegal.

“The United States government and the state have more things to do, like find some jobs.  There was never any intention to have that call not have people come out and vote,” Henson said.

Voter intimidation could mean up to five years in jail and fines.

A month after the election, former Governor Bob Ehrlich made one public comment about the robo-calls, saying, “They were done outside of my purview.”

  • Employee #8

    I can’t wait to see the far-right reaction to this riduculous behavior. I’m sure it will be O’Malley’s fault.

  • Shame it didn't work

    Damn shame it didn’t work……this state is in the biggest mess it has ever been in, thanks to that rotten O’Malley—worst governor in Maryland history
    And actually–whats worse–a call, or going door to door to take people to a poll unsolicited–isn’t that illegal as well

    • BIG ED

      MOMMY is the worst thing that happen to MD. TAX and SPENT SPENT SPENT!!! Helping to pay for for illegaks education. Whay about our own MD citizens. What an idiot.



  • Patrick

    Bob Ehrlich ran a poor campaign. That in of itself should be criminal.

  • sheriff

    Both of them should be in jail.

  • OMalleyRaisesTaxes

    whoever gets elected taxes go up, oh and gambling was a nice hypocritical move by the dems.

    by the way omalley you stink.

  • Nick Nichols

    im always amused that pubs find excuses for their misbehavior but nothing but blame and hatred when the dems do something stupid

    • overtaxed

      One act of misbehavior, certainly, but look at the stack of “stupidity” that comes from the ‘crats in Annapolis gets a blind eye turned because WJZ, the Sun and the like will not go after the dems.
      Where did the transportation fund go? No answers, or questions for that matter

      What about the bribery in PG county? Trying to drop as many charges as possible.

      What about the outright lying in O’Malleys ads? A fee is a tax (and now we get hikes in both) Doesn’t that mislead voters? The oil spill ads? What about the ad that MPT called O’Malley out as blatent misrepresentation?

  • sheriff

    Don’t they make a lovely couple? I understand Bob oh Bobbin is leaving Kendall the mouth for Henson.

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