ROCKVILLE, Md. — In a confidential letter to the
ethics commission here, Montgomery County Police Chief
Charles Moose argued he should be allowed to
supplement his income with book and movie deals in
part because he makes less money than Atlanta’s new
A county official called the comparison “outrageous”
in view of Atlanta’s higher crime rate.
Chief Charles Moose
“My salary is considerably below that of certain other
police chiefs,” Moose complained in his March 10
letter to the panel, a copy of which was obtained by
WorldNetDaily. “For example, the new Atlanta police
chief earns $225,000, plus other benefits.”
Therefore, he asserted, the panel should allow “me to
supplement my income through these activities.”
Despite that and other pleadings in his 5-page letter,
the Montgomery County ruled against him. Legally,
Moose cannot pursue the lucrative deals brokered after
he led the Beltway sniper investigation, but he is
nonetheless pressing ahead with them while fighting
the decision in federal court.
Moose earns $160,619 a year, not including benefits
and perks, making him the highest-paid county official
and the top-paid police chief in Maryland. Up until
recently, he made even more than the D.C. police
Montgomery County, which includes leafy suburbs such
as Chevy Chase, has a much lower crime rate than
Atlanta — and far fewer violent crimes, such as
homicides, to solve.
A spokeswoman for the Atlanta Police Department, run
by chief Richard J. Pennington, said it investigated
151 new murder cases last year. Moose, by comparison,
handled 32, including six from last fall’s unusual
Beltway sniper rampage.
The department spokeswoman, Lori Collins-Jones,
declined to comment on Moose’s reference to
Pennington, who like Moose is black, referring
questions to the Atlanta mayor’s office, which did not
return phone calls. The mayor hired Pennington in July
But a Montgomery County official who has seen Moose’s
letter expressed disbelief.
“That’s kind of outrageous,” he told WorldNetDaily,
requesting anonymity. “I mean, Montgomery County is
not Atlanta, and doesn’t have the kind of heavy-duty
police problems that Atlanta has.”
The official added: “And it doesn’t have its
Indeed, the population of Atlanta’s Fulton County is
45 percent white, 45 percent black, 6 percent Hispanic
and 3 percent Asian, according to the latest Census
Bureau data. In contrast, Montgomery County’s
population is 60 percent white, 15 percent black, 13
percent Hispanic and 11 percent Asian. And 16 percent
of Fulton residents live below poverty, compared with
just 5 percent in Montgomery, Census says.
The Atlanta police force, moreover, is twice as big as
the Montgomery County force.
“Atlanta is not comparable,” said Montgomery County
Fraternal Order of Police President Walter E. Bader.
In fact, he notes that, by law, the union is
restricted in its contract negotiations to make pay
comparisons with other county employees and employees
in the Washington metro area and Maryland.
“In an arbitration, we cannot compare with Atlanta,
New York, New Jersey, Delaware or even Richmond, Va.,”
If Moose wins his court battle, he stands to make at
least $170,000 from his book deal and close to another
$100,000 from his movie deal. His book agent, David
Vigliano, is also representing fired New York Times
serial plagiarist and fabricator Jayson Blair.
Moose also argued in his letter, addressed to
Montgomery County Ethics Commission Chairwoman
Elizabeth Kellar, that granting him a waiver from
conflict-of-interest laws would “be in the best
interests of the county.”
For one, he said, the media can’t be trusted to
recount the sniper story accurately.
“The story of the sniper incidents will be told and
retold by the media, on books and in film. They will
most likely get the story wrong as they did so often
when the events were unfolding,” said Moose, who
lashed out at the press during the sniper probe he
led. “I have discussed this with the county executive
(Doug Duncan) and, as you can see from his supportive
letter, this is a story that should be told fully and
truthfully from the perspective of the chief of police
who was the center of the investigation.”