Since the start of his career as state’s attorney in St Mary’s County, Richard Fritz (R) has been costing taxpayers money. It started in 1999 on the eve of election night, with Fritz sending sheriff’s deputies out in the early morning to buy up all the copies of a local paper, “St. Mary’s Today,” which contained an article detailing Fritz’s sordid past.

Sounds more like a made for TV movie than reality, but instead it was only the start of Fritz’s career and it cost St. Mary’s County citizens nearly $500,000 in a settlement with the owner of the newspaper. And yet in his over 20 years as state’s attorney, the last time someone ran against him was in 2014. He is so far going unchallenged in the 2022 election with no other declared candidates.

If the headlines weren’t enough, what people say under their breath is much worse. For instance, people say that for those charged with a crime, if you want to get off with a lesser charge, it’s all about who you know in the prosecutor’s office, and who you can pay. Even the governor’s daughter, Jaymi Sterling, left the state’s attorney’s office last year after exposing Fritz for alleged mismanagement of funds, when he supposedly gave a $25,000 bonus to a staff person in his office with money that had been donated by the public meant for high school graduates’ graduation party.

Add that to the 2020 conference taxpayers paid $11,000 for Fritz and his staff to attend in Ocean City, which they “attended” even though the conference had been canceled due to COVID-19.

How many more scandals will voters stand from the state’s attorney’s office in St. Mary’s? How much more money will Fritz cost St. Mary’s taxpayers before they decide enough is enough?

Tyler Jones, California