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Greg Bannon is running

Greg Hannigan is not

September 09, 2006|by J. Gregory Hannigan/Hagerstown

Greg Bannon is running; Greg Hannigan is not



To the editor:

In recent weeks, I have been amused by the number of people who have approached me and assured me that they will be voting for me in the Sept. 12 Republican primary. Each time this has happened, and I know it is dozens at this point, I have politely thanked them but explained that the candidate they are talking about is Gregory C. Bannon. I assure them that Bannon is very worthy of their vote. He is a person of independence, intelligence and integrity.

With the campaign for state's attorney reaching a full boil, this confusion due to the similarity of my name with that of Gregory C. Bannon has become significantly less innocent and amusing.

Apparently some people continue to repeat a story falsely substituting Bannon for me as the attorney in a case where Hagerstown police officers were among the defendants. I have even heard from police officers themselves that this misinformation was discussed as if fact when they made their recent candidate endorsements. People have approached me personally to express their concern that I don't like law enforcement types enough.

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Let me also note that far from being a "cop hater," I come from a law enforcement family. My father was a Connecticut state trooper. My grandfather was a city policeman for 40 years. My uncle was Jack Hollyday - Washington County's first full time state's attorney and one tough prosecutor. I have been selected by a number of police officers to help them and their family members with legal issues or problems. I am grateful for their confidence.

Now for the famous story. Some years ago, after having criminal charges against him dismissed in a high profile case, a local citizen brought a case civilly. Several people included in the suit were local police officers. Although he had successfully defended this citizen in court, Bannon was not interested in pursuing the civil case and did not do so.

By coincidence, when the case became too complex for him, that citizen secured my assistance in the hope of recovering his financial losses. The case was ultimately dismissed prior to trial.

In any event, I want it to be perfectly clear that Gregory S. Bannon is not me. We differ. Bannon supports the death penalty, which I strongly oppose for reasons of my religious persuasion. Bannon is a Republican. Unlike others running for state's attorney and other offices, Gregory C. Bannon registered as a Republican when Parris Glendenning, a Democrat, was governor.

Bannon and I both support the efficient and independent prosecution of criminals according to American law. Bannon and I are highly supportive of honest, hardworking, citizen protecting law enforcement personnel.

To those people who don't like me, please don't penalize Gregory C. Bannon by denying him your vote based on a lie. To those who do like me, thank you for offering me your support, but I am not a candidate, I would suggest that you elect to vote for Gregory C. Bannon instead.

That way, after the election, it will be his job to prosecute law breakers on behalf of all the people of Maryland and my job to protect the constitutional rights of the individual citizens accused of wrongdoing. There should be no confusion about who is doing what.

J. Gregory Hannigan
Hagerstown

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