Quirk offered the brief comments, his first after Catonsville developer Steve Whalen pleaded guilty to five counts of violating state campaign finance law, during a Friday interview. All of the violations stem from $7,500 in straw donations made to Quirk through three people including Whalen's personal trainer, a friend and an employee of Whalen Properties.
Whalen is the developer of the proposed Southwest Physicians Pavilion.
Parts of emails read Jan. 3 in Baltimore County Circuit Court highlighted conversations between Whalen and Quirk in 2011. At that time, the councilman was reviewing the developer's request to build the project under county Planned Unit Development laws.
In those emails, Quirk and Whalen talk about fundraising intermixed with discussions about Whalen's development projects, including the physicians pavilion project.
The emails raised some eyebrows because of the appearance of an improper- relationship between the councilman and developer. Political rival Paul Dongarra, who reported Whalen's campaign finance activity to the state prosecutor, said it was indicative of a "pay to play" culture in the county.
Even Whalen's own attorney in court Thursday said observers could wrongly infer an improper relationship between Quirk and Whalen.
Quirk declined to discuss the Whalen case during the phone interview Friday and referred a reporter to a statement he issued Thursday afternoon.
But the councilman added that all the decisions made about the project will be validated once an administrative law judge approves the plan.
"I am very confident that project's use of the PUD was done extremely well," Quirk said. "The public record will show that."