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Huff Gives Up Baltimore County Car

"I made a very poor decision," Baltimore County Councilman Todd Huff said in a written statement.

Baltimore County Councilman Todd Huff has relinquished the use of his county-owned vehicle following being charged early Saturday with drunken driving-related offenses.

"There are no excuses for my behavior. I can only promise that I will not make the same mistake in the future," Huff, a Lutherville Republican, said in a written statement released Monday afternoon. "As a first step toward accepting the consequences of my behavior, I am voluntarily relinquishing my county vehicle.

Huff was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol after being pulled over in Towson shortly before 3 a.m. Saturday morning. He was driving his county-owned silver Jeep Grand Cherokee at the time of the traffic stop.

The councilman has not returned calls from the media seeking comment.

"In the early hours of this past Saturday morning, I made a very poor decision," Huff said in the statement. "I am prepared to face the consequences of that decision, and I realize that I have caused my family and friends great pain. That is something I deeply regret.

"I also regret that I let down my colleagues and the citizens of the Third District, and I recognize that I will have to work hard to regain their trust as well. I will strive to do just that."

County councilmembers are given access to a county car during their term. Nearly all of the current members use one.

The councilmembers reimburse the county for personal mileage through a payroll deduction. Councilmembers are also able to gas their cars up at county fuel depots.

Former Councilman Sam Moxley voluntarily gave up use of his county-owned Cheverolet Trailblazer following a drunk driving-related accident in 2005. He was involved in a second drunk driving-related accident four years later.

Mike Gimbel, a former long-time director of the county Bureau of Substance Abuse, said Huff's statement doesn't go far enough.

"Who cares about the car, he needs to give up the booze," Gimbel said. "If he doesn't give up drinking he can just have another accident in another car."

number9dream February 26, 2013 at 05:39 PM
At least he didn't have to wait for a spot on Oprah to spill his guts.
number9dream February 26, 2013 at 05:41 PM
Wow. You're a real go-getter.
kathy de cicco February 26, 2013 at 07:20 PM
Mike Gimbel makes a good point. NO ONE is allowed to drive while intoxicated. Stopping drinking is probably a good thing for Todd Huff to do. Ask any Baltimore County police officer how many times he has arrested a drunk driver, just to have the judge slap him on the wrist and set him free. Maybe the punishment for the FIRST DWI should be automatic revocation of one's drivers license. Second offense, automatic 5 year jail term. Sure would cut down the number of repeat offenders! I'm tired of innocent people being maimed and killed by these morons.
M. Sullivan February 26, 2013 at 07:24 PM
Hey Kathy, how about all the innocent people being maimed and killed by women on cellphones while driving land yachts?
George February 26, 2013 at 07:28 PM
As one of Mr. Huff's constituents (and one who voted for him), I am terribly distressed by his bad judgement and reckless behavior. I believe that everyone is entitled to a second chance in life (and perhaps he has had more than one second chance already); however, that does not include the privilege of serving his community as an elected official. Would we even be having this conversation if, forbid, he had injured or killed someone while DUI? I know many, many residents of my District who would exert good judgement and sound priciples in service to the community. The verdict is in Mr. Huff: TIME TO RESIGN YOUR SEAT AND GET YOUR LIFE BACK ON TRACK!!!
Buck Harmon February 26, 2013 at 07:36 PM
I agree..things have to be too chaotic in Mr. Huffs life now for him to be able to tackle getting his life back on track and attempting to provide the best possible service for his constituents.. Taxpayers should not be slighted by his shortcomings.. Resign as a service to the community..
M. Sullivan February 26, 2013 at 07:44 PM
When I voted for Todd Huff i thought I was voting for a human being. Sometimes human beings have weaknesses. That does not mean he can't do a good job representing his district. There have been plenty of very effective politicians in history that have done a hell of a lot worse than get caught driving after a few too many drinks.
number9dream February 26, 2013 at 08:00 PM
I never voted for Todd Huff. But then again I never voted for Dutch Rooperschitzel either.
LalainMaryland February 26, 2013 at 08:11 PM
The council members without county cars aren't able to gas up at county stations but they get reimbursed for mileage, often to the tune if more money that an actual county car costs.
number9dream February 26, 2013 at 08:14 PM
I wonder if John Leopold is still looking for work.
kathy de cicco February 26, 2013 at 08:16 PM
Throw their asses in jail too!
MD Fan February 26, 2013 at 08:29 PM
George, I agree with you that there is an obvious major problem that Mr. Huff needs to address about his personal life first - I think he is only in his mid-40s so there is time for him to 'right the ship' and still enjoy many, many years of happiness and success. However, I am going to take you to task about the 'many, many residents' comment you make. Huff's legal problems were well known during his campaign, so I am not all that convinced how much residents care about good judgment and sound principle. I think they should, and obviously so do you, but it was these fine residents that voted him into office to begin with despite his many criminal/traffic and civil legal issues. I do agree with you though that getting his life back together should be paramount - driving at 3:00am with a .20 BAC and then compounding it with an attempted abuse of power is bad...really bad - not just a single 'bad decision' but a whole breakdown on so many levels of what is acceptable behavior.
MD Fan February 26, 2013 at 08:49 PM
Mr. Huff speaks of a 'bad decision.' Which bad decision is he referencing: 1. Taking the second drink and each one after that which put him at 2 and a half times over the legal driving limit? 2. Deciding to take each drink without a clear plan on getting home safely (and legally)? 3. Deciding it was better to attempt to drive rather than spend $15-$20 on a taxi? 4. Or was his decision not to turn his headlights on the 'bad' one? 5. Maybe he is talking about the way he tried to flex his so called 'influence' over the police at the scene of the arrest. 6. Perhaps the 'bad decision' was in the way he called the Police Commissioner - obviously trying to call in a 'favor.' 7. Maybe he regrets saying that 'he doesn't like lawyers' now that he will have to go before a judge, and every judge in the state of Maryland begins as a licensed lawyer. 8. His 'bad decision' could be in the hypocrisy of driving a county car to begin with, since he campaigned against such perks when he beat McIntyre a few years ago. So what I am seeing here is not just a 'bad decision' but an entire, stretched-out, episode of delusional behavior that is unacceptable by any decent standards.
BobBaft February 26, 2013 at 09:13 PM
Mark W: THey didn't always have cell phones, etc. How did they do it in the past? OH, go back to the office and tell their supervisors. This country is getting more and more lazy and the Baltimorons are leading the pack.
jack friese February 26, 2013 at 10:51 PM
State employees are paid .55 per mile for the use of the legitmate use POV. They are required to keep a log of where, when, how many miles and for what official reason. That should be really interesting to audit and figure out. Which brings me to the next point. Why should council members be driving around in $25,000 vehicles and just how many of these County owned vehicles and at what cost to the taxpayers do they have running around the County? Surely taxpayers have the right to know. Mr. Mohler the chief of staff for Kamenetz is working on a PIA information request from me. When I get these answers I'll be sure to post them. The County bean counters should figure out which of the choices is more economical. I am betting it is much more cost effective to use the POV routine. Then we don't have to invest in vehicles, maintenance etc. to say nothing of the loss potential if one of these vehicles gets into an accident. I guess the question is Mr. Mohler is has any one in the bean counting department figured this out?
Evets February 26, 2013 at 10:53 PM
Another bad decision - reports recently released that his apparently sober wife was with him and still let him drive...
Buck Harmon February 26, 2013 at 10:57 PM
And drive with the lights off...
Evets February 26, 2013 at 11:13 PM
What is strange about: I have 2 rather inexpensive compact cars. The newest one is 6 years old. Both of them have a sensor that automatically turns on the lights at night about 5 seconds after putting the car in gear. One would think a Jeep Cherokee would do the same.
ArcAngel February 27, 2013 at 12:20 AM
Equally interesting reading if one searches MD Judiciary for "Jack Friese", "John Friese" and "Armscorp of America Inc."
number9dream February 27, 2013 at 12:36 AM
@ArcAngel Ya gotta love the case search!
B. ridge February 27, 2013 at 01:15 AM
Okay M. Sullivan. I had actually thought that after I posted my prior comment that some people may assume I was on my high horse so I should have mentioned that I am imperfect, have made mistakes, just like most people in the world. No need to attack me on my choice of a Jeep. In all honesty, it was my first car I bought on my own as a young adult and I've had nothing but trouble with it! Lesson learned. However, back to Huff. Okay with people making bad choices. Hey no one is perfect... Right? But for his demeanor to be "Don't you know who I am" and "I want to phone the police chief" and "I don't like attorney's" says more of the person he is rather than his possibly forgivable "mistake" at driving after many drinks and not stopping immediately for the officer. Do we want someone with that arrogance and disrespect our our council? I think not. As "George" stated, this is more about his behaviors and judgement in everyday life. By the way, "Winning!"
John February 27, 2013 at 01:39 AM
I huff a lot of weed
Evets February 27, 2013 at 01:41 AM
Thanks for sharing that.
John February 27, 2013 at 01:42 AM
Inquiries will change nothing, it's all a big joke, there's no accountability these days, nobody stands for nothing these days, he isn't going nowhere.....on to the next article
B. ridge February 27, 2013 at 12:54 PM
But John........ you have to have the Baltimore's label of "Believe". Believe that there are concerned citizens like Mr. Friese (who has the time and dedication) that care for what is correct/right. If we keep on pushing, there absolutely will be a bigger consequence. Hopefully.
ArcAngel February 27, 2013 at 01:08 PM
It may be indecent, but Mr. Friese has apparently "exposed" things in the past.
Brad February 27, 2013 at 02:01 PM
I hope Mr. Friese finds his answers, there are a lot of county owned vehicles on the road, and many are used as take home cars. Supervisors in specialized units in the police dept. such as Sgts.Lts. have take home cars, Capts, and Majors, and Colonels have take home cars. Many of these rank and file drive from their homes in Pa Harford, Anne Arundel, Carroll, and Westminister counties, and go to headquarters, and work and then go back home in a company car everyday 5 days a week. Everyone I know either takes a bus, or their own private car to their place of employment. Why should the Baltimore County tax payers pay for a council member or any one driving any of these county vehicles to go to and from work. The gas and insurance is paid by us the baltimore county citizens. I would like to know Mr. Friese what type of money is being spent on take home cars in each dept. With gas prices this high, why should we be paying for county employees to drive outside of Baltimore County into Pa, and surrounding counties. Know wonder these supervisors want to get promoted, a take home car free gas and free insurance, they should be made to drive their own vehicles to their place of employment like any other citizens. At least the Council members live in Baltimore County, these other supervisors don't, and have free use of the vehicles. Good luck Mr. Friese with your quest.
John Doe February 27, 2013 at 03:05 PM
Give him a bus pass.
Frank The Breadman February 28, 2013 at 12:29 AM
Great idea Bob! As a way to save even more money, I think all County employees should give up their computers. Go back to typewriters and carbon paper - heck, it worked in the past.
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