Former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., was called to testify before a grand jury recently in connection with the controversial robocalls conducted during the 2010 gubernatorial election, according to WJZ TV.

Ehrlich and several others, including a former aid and the former chairman of the Baltimore County Republican Party, came before the jury, which is investigating whether the automated messages violated election laws by attempting to suppress voter turnout.

The grand jury, whose proceedings are secret, has centered the probe on political consultant Julius Henson who admitted to coordinating the calls. Ehrlich was called as a witness and is not a target in the investigation, although Henson was paid to assist with Ehrlich’s campaign, the TV station reported.

The State Prosecutor’s Office would not confirm whether Ehrlich was a witness, citing office policy to withhold information unless there is an indictment. “We don’t confirm or deny witnesses in an investigation,” said Jim Cabezas, chief investigator in the State Prosecutor’s Office.

Prior to the polls closing on Election Day last fall, thousands of calls were made to Baltimore and Prince George’s County homeowners in Democratic precincts urging them to remain home because Ehrlich’s competitor, current Gov. Martin O’Malley, had already won the election.

Shernay Williams

Special to the AFRO