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  • Writer's pictureNEWTON1776

CRIMINAL COMPLAINT AGAINST KATHLEEN SMERO

Maryland State Board of Elections

P.O. Box 6486

Annapolis, Maryland 21401-0486

151 West Street Suite 200

Annapolis, Maryland 21401


ATTENTION: Jared DeMarinis

cc: Victorica Smith

♦️ Filed JULY 24, 2023

 

Re: CRIMINAL COMPLAINT & PETITION FOR ENFORCEMENT


TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN -


The following is to serve as my Complaint and Petition for Enforcement to the Maryland State Board of Elections specifically to address violation(s) of State Campaign Law by Kathleen Smero during the 2022 election cycle.


That said, I am a FORMER elected leader of the Baltimore County Republican Party; resigned in protest (as others have) after being witness to unethical internal activities and violations of rules of procedure as required by the "Party" Bylaws by sworn members and leadership. I am now a private citizen, a registered Maryland voter residing in Baltimore County and have personally observed various instances and activities that in my opinion are breaches of the public trust, failure to adhere to the Republican Party Bylaws (State & County) AND violations of Maryland Law; some of which are described in this complaint and petition for enforcement.


I respectfully request that the Campaign Finance Division and State Board of Elections supervisors review the official records/finance reports associated with CCF ID account # 01014606 (and other now "inactive" accounts related to the subject of this complaint) under it's control and other available pertinent evidence herein that confirm those violations of the law that leave no doubt.


It is further requested that at the conclusion of it's review that the BOARD provide what steps it will be taking to rectify the violation(s) of the law and misconduct that also rises to malfeasance, misfeasance and nonfeasance in elected office by a person who has been on the ballot in a number of election cycles; with several inactive/active campaign accounts on record under the jurisdiction of the Board of Elections.


Because these breaches are in contravention of State Campaign Law AND Party Bylaws (as I'm sure the Board is aware, Party Bylaws are the governing documents required by law to be filed with the State Board of Elections that grants and establishes the conduct of this entity), they have the force of law and are affirmed by oath by each individual pledging "to uphold the Maryland Constitution and laws thereof" along with the "Bylaws of the Maryland Republican Party". (Article XII - 12.1, 12.2 MDGOP Bylaws). Then enforcement of this must be exercised and it is within the purview, power and authority of the State Board of Elections to review and impose penalty.....or to refer it's findings to the State Prosecutor for criminal charges as appropriate.


Based on the duties, responsibilities and official positions held by Ms. Smero, the black & white reading of the law and the superior authorities defined in the Party Bylaws, there remains no ambiguity that she has on more than one occasion broke the law and has demonstrated an absence of ethical leadership. Those can best be described as crimes such as: negligence or fraud in office, misrepresentation, financial manipulation, auditing failures and even possible theft, money laundering and corruption. What makes her actions more egregious is that I can and will attest to the fact that she was notified with specificity of her unethical and illegal behavior on more than one occasion but chose to ignore those warnings.


Be advised that at the time there was a highly publicized story in the news (July 2022) about another Chairperson (Sully Sullivan) of the Republican Central Committee from Montgomery County who was notified by Jared DeMarinis "that he was violating State Law by maintaining his position as chairman while running for office". {source: Bethesdamagazine.com} Therein an interview, it is said Mr DeMarinis advised Sullivan by email: "As a candidate, you may not act or hold a position that exercises General overall responsibility for the conduct of a campaign finance entity.....Your position as a chair of the Central committee is in violation of that provision". Sullivan promptly resigned.....unlike Smero.


On review, this MUST NOT be ignored, covered up or swept under the rug any longer as this has been an ongoing problem for a number of years evidenced by other internal complaints (which I am prepared to provide copied upon request as well to confirm her ongoing behaviour)

 Those previous complaints were filed with the County Party Central Committee over Ms. Smero's failures to comply with the bylaws that reached beyond these most recent incidents as presented in this complaint. 


BACKGROUND AND TIMELINE.

✔On 4/14/2022 Ms Smero FILED to run for Maryland House of Delegates.....while still serving as Chairwoman of the Baltimore County Republican Party Central Committee (BCRCC) in violation of Maryland State Law 13-215.

✔On 7/18/2022, After Early Voting and THREE MONTHS AFTER filing as a candidate, and upon realizing she would be a nominee for the Maryland House of Delegates (simply because of the short field of candidates on the Primary ballot), Smero "officially" RESIGNED under pressure due to public outcry as Chairwoman; using form SBE/ccf 12-207c, I believe. A fact verified/confirmed by Jared DeMarinis to me on 8/05/2022 at 10:27 am....via email.

✔During that 3 month period between 4/14/2022 & 7/18/2022 while illegally serving in those dual roles, she directed at least 3 checks to herself from the BCRCC Treasury. (as shown in the filed BCRCC Party Finance Reports with the State Finance Division from that period). 5/09/2022 - $266.27, 5/14/2022 - $102.03, 5/21/2022 - $236.00.

❌ BESIDES violating Maryland State Law as cited above, this is also a violation of Republican Party Bylaws which requires the approval by the Committee of the Whole to authorize expenditures in excess of $200....but ultimately ALL expenditures must be approved by the full membership.of the Central Committee prior to State filing....and sworn to be accurate and legal under the penalty of perjury.

❌Further she also received a campaign contribution FROM the BCRCC's treasury showing in filed reports for $1250; such selected candidate contributions typically are directed by Al Mendelsohn through his non-existent "Campaign Appropriations Committee"....which is NOT permitted anywhere in the registered Bylaws.

Mendelsohn is a seated BCRCC sworn District representative, Precincts & Elections Subcommittee (P&E) Chair, who was also serving simultaneously as a State Party ViceChair. Among the required duties of the P&E Subcommittee as stated in County Party Bylaws is: "Article I, Section 8C, Part 2(d) - The subcommittee is responsible for coordination of candidate and campaign material". Campaign materials paid for by the BCRCC and printed by printing company he represents.


FOOTNOTE: It is a matter of record that Ms Smero was at the time also "appointed" to the State Party "Nomination Committee" and Mendelsohn was seeking the 2nd ViceChair position and he required her support (quid pro quo).

IN turn, on October 17, 2022 (less than 2 weeks after Smero received a check for over $1000 from the BCRCC, she paid to the printing company Mendelsohn represents another $570.99.....bringing her total spent with that company to $2436.45 between 7/11/2022 & 10/07/2022 for her personal campaign materials as she sought office in the Maryland House of Delegates.

✔ All of the above details of violations was presented in their August 2022 meeting in a notarized letter to the BCRCC and the Administration & Ethics Subcommittee Chaired by Raymond Bocelli, titled "Memorandum of Understanding" dated 8/01/2022 ......nothing was ever addressed, reviewed and presented to the members for judgement as required by County Party Bylaws Article 1 Section 8 Part 6 (a)(b)(c) on file with the State Board of Elections. 

❌ Regarding Mr Mendelsohn's involvement in some of these money exchanges and financial considerations.....

........there was in place an "Operating Rule 2019.1" passed by the full membership of the BCRCC which can be found as an attachment in the BCRCC BYLAWS & Operating Rules on file with the Maryland Republican Party and the State Board of Elections (and the Maryland Archives), dated April 2019. The Rule requires "transparency" disclosures over bids for goods and services when it involved members of the BCRCC or their family and business associations. ✳️ Mr. Mendelsohn along with Ms. Smero were in violation of that legally binding Rule 2019.1 as well. Internal written complaints to the County Party were ignored....and was violated again very recently by a $250 expense paid from the Treasury directly to a family member of a party officer without proper approval or adherence to the process as required under the law and County Party Bylaws.


Although many of Ms Smero's improper (and possibly defined as illegal activities) also involve Mr Mendelsohn and others not yet named; this complaint is specific to Ms Smero only.  

And so, I make this plea that the State Board of Elections might arrive at the determination within the authority of the Board to bar Ms. Smero as a possible penalty from accessing a future ballot for a period as a candidate upon a finding of guilt and in the interim at the very least that in conjunction with this complaint either the local county governing body of the Republican Party or the Maryland State Republican Party Executive Committee will address her failed leadership and misconduct beginning by exacting a disciplinary action with a full throated condemnation or censure of her since the BYLAWS do demand a specific response and assess penalties for violating them.

A copy of this complaint will be forwarded to the members of the BCRCC and the State Party Executive Board, along with all communications between myself and any government enforcement agency.


I look forward to your written receipt acknowledging this petition/complaint and your future communications regarding it. I remain available to assist you by answering any questions, providing whatever additional testimony, evidence or material you may require throughout your deliberation and decision.....


Thank you in advance for your attention reviewing these allegations.


Sincerely yours,

WILLIAM NEWTON

PAST:

Baltimore County Republican Party 

District 3 Representative,

2nd ViceChair BCRCC, 

Chairman - Organization and Rules Subcommittee,

Parliamentarian - BCRCC, 

Chairman - Maryland State Republican Party Election Integrity Ad-hoc Committee, 

Nominee - State Party Chairman,

Nominee - Maryland House of Delegates District 10,

Nominee - Maryland State Senate.....

 

(443)986-xxxx (private)


*attachments 

cc - members BCRCC, MDGOP Executive Committee and other interested persons


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