Maryland Ex-Governor Defends Ogling Aide (Video)
William Donald Schaefer, Maryland’s 84-year-old comptroller and former governor (1987-1995), has gotten into some trouble for ogling a pretty young aide in a tight sweater as she handed him some papers — and then calling her back over for more ogling. I have seen the video of this on the local news but could not find a copy online.
OTB roving correspondent Richard Gardner, however, forwarded a WUSA 9 News Video of Schaefer defending himself in the matter and discussing all the hate mail he has received. “I’ve been looking at young ladies for 84 years of my life and this is the first time I’ve gotten such nasty emails. One hopes I die.”
Incidentally, Schaefer has never been married.
Update: Here’s the WaPo account of the original incident.
The public meeting had just begun yesterday morning when a 24-year-old woman delivered a mug of tea to Maryland Comptroller William Donald Schaefer. Schaefer (D) watched her walk away, appearing to stare at her backside, then motioned for her to come back. “Walk again,” he told the woman, an administrative aide to Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R). She headed out, seemingly flustered, and later told other Ehrlich aides that she had been embarrassed.
The episode, at a state Board of Public Works meeting with more than 100 people in attendance, brought a rain of criticism from women’s organizations and some lawmakers who learned about it. But the 84-year-old comptroller defended his behavior and berated reporters who asked whether he believed his actions were offensive. “That’s so goddamn dumb I can’t believe it,” said Schaefer, a former governor and mayor of Baltimore who is seeking reelection this year. “I look at one of the girls as she walked out. Big deal. . . . I look at the girls every time they walk out. The day I don’t look at pretty girls, I die.”
The Baltimore Sun adds,
The incident sent some jaws dropping and drew laughter from others in the crowd of more than 100 state officials, lobbyists, journalists and business leaders attending the session.
Responding to Schaefer’s request for tea, the woman, an executive assistant in Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.’s front office, set down a thermal mug in front of the comptroller. Schaefer, 84, watched her walk away, then beckoned for her to return. When she obliged, he told her, “Walk again,” staring after her as she left a ceremonial conference room at the State House.
Schaefer defended the comment in a profanity-laced rant at reporters after the meeting. “That’s so goddamn dumb, I can’t believe it,” Schaefer said when asked about the appropriateness of his remark. “She’s a pretty little girl.” She “ought to be damn happy that I observed her going out the door,” Schaefer said. “The day I don’t look at pretty women is the day I die.”
The comptroller briefly broke away from reporters to talk to the woman in private, but returned to say he had not apologized. “The one who’s offended is me,” he said, for being subjected to questions about the encounter.
Reached at home last night, the assistant, Elizabeth Krum, 24, declined to discuss the matter. But her father said he feels the incident was “sexual harassment on the job.”
The man has been a fixture in Maryland politics for half a century and is beloved by people from both parties. He has apparently had incidents like this in the past and gotten shrugs. Being an octogenarian has its perks, I guess.