Charles Commissioners Face Threats for Keeping County Closed

    Sheriff’s deputies in Charles County are keeping a closer watch on the homes of some of the county’s commissioners following threatening messages on social media.

    The Charles County Board of Commissioners voted Thursday to postpone entering Phase One of Maryland Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr.’s reopening plan until May 29.

    Those against the decision used social media to voice their complaints. These included a post that listed the addresses of the commissioners who made up the majority vote to delay the opening.

    Reuben Collins (D), the board’s president, said he’s used to seeing negative things on social media, but this went too far.

    “I can say that’s the first time in my experience where comments were referring to possible violence,” Collins said. “When it included an actual residential address, then it becomes something that rises to the level of putting my family in harm’s way. That was rather shocking.”

    Making him even more concerned is that fact that he has his 90-year-old father, his wife and three children at home.

    “I can deal with the politics of these things, but when you put personal residency in play, that’s totally inappropriate,” Collins said.

    The Sheriff’s Department sent out a message saying it reached out to all of the commissioners and will continue to monitor the situation.

    Collins said the Sheriff’s Office said they will be keeping a closer eye on his home.

    “These are unprecedented times for all of us, including elected officials, because we are forced to make decisions on matters that have never been before us before,” he said

    Collins said he and his fellow commissioners are all doing what they think is the best for the county — even though they understand the suffering business owners are going through.

    “I’m a small-business owner,” he said. “I have been impacted by this virus. This is hurting all of us, but at the end of the day, the public health, safety and welfare of our citizens will always be my number one priority, and a delay in this matter was, in my opinion, the best approach.”

    And he said once the crisis is over, the board will do all it can to rebuild the local economy.

    As part of Maryland Matters’ content sharing agreement with WTOP, we feature this article from Michelle Murillo. Click here for the WTOP News website.