Saturday, September 11, 2010

Police ask Attorney General To Investigate Duchy Trachtenberg

The controversial Duchy Trachtenberg has yet to confirm or deny the allegations against her.


Friday, Sept. 10, 2010

Montgomery County FOP asks attorney general to investigate Trachtenberg

At issue is her handling of financial records when she was NOW treasurer

by Sarah Breitenbach | Staff Writer

The Montgomery County police union has asked the Maryland attorney general to investigate potential financial improprieties involving County Council member Duchy Trachtenberg while she served as an officer in the Maryland chapter of the National Organization for Women.

In a letter dated Sept. 9, Fraternal Order of Police, Montgomery County Lodge 35 members requested the investigation based on a Grievance Committee "decision" from NOW, which alleges the councilwoman failed to hand over financial records and used the organization's ATM card to withdraw cash and make purchases at stores, including Victoria's Secret and Target.

The decision also states that Trachtenberg (D-At large) of North Bethesda wrote numerous checks to herself and her husband from the NOW bank account.

Trachtenberg served as treasurer of the chapter from 2006 to 2008, when she resigned her position and membership in the organization.

Neither Trachtenberg nor her attorney could be reached for comment.

Greg Kenefick, a spokesman for the FOP, said the union made its request because members believe the NOW allegations should be explored by an independent party to determine if they are substantive.

Raquel Guillory, public information officer for Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, confirmed that his office received the letter, but said it had not had a chance to review the request, which also was sent to Montgomery County State's Attorney John McCarthy and U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein.

The public should be aware of any financial misdeeds because Trachtenberg is a public official and chairs the county's Management and Fiscal Policy Committee, guiding the annual budget process and overseeing the county audit committee, Kenefick said.

"In the case of Ms. Trachtenberg, there's been a lot of concern with how she deals with her role with setting the budget and establishing the budget parameters," he said.

In January, Trachtenberg's attorney Bruce Bender asked the NOW chapter to dismiss the claim that the councilwoman mishandled money.

At that time, NOW leaders said the matter was an issue to be dealt with internally.

"The information was apparently given to the FOP and their concern was that people were sort of backing off it because of the sensitivity," Kenefick said. "It's almost as if anyone was afraid to touch it."

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