ROCKVILLE, Md. — Montgomery County Police Chief
Charles Moose’s wife complained about a lack of
household “antiques” in trying to sway the county
ethics board here to let her husband profit from a
major book deal he signed after the Beltway sniper case, a transcript of her closed-door testimony
County Police Chief Charles Moose and wife Sandy (Courtesy:
Willamette Week )
Sandy Herman-Moose argued that her husband, who led
the sniper investigation, was entitled to a special
exemption to ethics rules against county officials
profiting from the prestige of their office, because
he has “served the public for 20 some years,”
sacrificing private gain.
She said she also has “worked hard,” accumulating
diplomas, books and papers, but few household
“I was an activist in Portland. Before we moved here,
basically we moved books and documents, and the mover
said, ‘Mrs. Moose, you don’t have any antiques,’” she
said. “And I said, ‘My husband has a PhD and [I] have
a law degree, and we have papers.’”
Chief Moose, testifying alongside her at the March 3
hearing here, cited “law school bills,” among other
things, in pleading for a waiver from
conflict-of-interest rules. He said his $170,000 book
deal was a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity, and he
didn’t want to pass up “this good fortune.”
Ten people died in last fall’s sniper shooting spree,
several in Moose’s jurisdiction. Three others were
“We’ve been working our asses off for 20 years, all
due respect,” Sandy Moose told the five-member
Montgomery County Ethics Commission.
The panel denied Moose’s request for a waiver,
effectively killing his book contract with New York
publisher Dutton Publishing Inc.
But Moose, in turn, has filed a lawsuit against the
county in federal court, charging it violated his
right to free speech and expression under the First
Amendment. He is pressing ahead with the book, which
had been scheduled for release this fall with the
start of the trials of sniper suspects John Allen Muhammad
and Lee Boyd Malvo.
His wife, a civil-rights activist, suggested at the
hearing that the chief, who is black, was being
“He has served in organizations that’s [sic] full of
institutionalized racism beyond anything you can
imagine,” Sandy Herman-Moose said.
“And he is asking a fully white group to give him the
permission to make some money,” she added.
After the panel ruled against her husband, she
compared him to Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and
other civil-rights leaders who “stood for principle.”
Moose’s lawyer, Ronald A. Karp, told WorldNetDaily
yesterday that he does not plan to argue racial
discrimination in his federal lawsuit.
Earning more than $160,000 a year, his client is the
highest-paid official in the county, and the
highest-paid police chief in the state.