Charles Caldwell, III was Chairman of the Board of Licensing Commissioners in Prince George’s County, Maryland. As the administrator of Maryland alcohol laws, Caldwell was responsible for issuing liquor licenses to bars, hotels, etc. It is a position appointed to him by Governor Larry Hogan.
Caldwell’s predecessor, Franklin D. Jackson served under 3 administrations of both democrat and republican governors. One of the perks of this position is that you get invited to Grand Openings of just about everyone you issue a license to! Could this be why Caldwell’s predecessor didn’t want to leave his post?
One of the perks of this position is that you get invited to Grand Openings of just about everyone you issue a license to! Could this be why Caldwell’s predecessor didn’t want to leave his post?
December 8th was the Grand Opening of The MGM National Harbor Resort and Casino where Caldwell was a VIP Guest.
The crowds for this event were huge with the casino reaching maximum occupancy twice during the first 24 hours. Traffic all around the place was thick and it required attentive driving skills to get in and out of there similar to a major concert or sporting event. After an evening of partying, these were skills Caldwell had left behind in the bottom of a glass. After hitting one car, Caldwell backed up into another. Cops were called to the scene.
Caldwell reeked of alcohol, failed the field sobriety test, and refused the roadside breathalyzer test. Hauled into the station, Caldwell claimed he attempted to provide a breath sample, but the results were inconclusive.
FUN FACT: When “the results are inconclusive” from a breathalyzer test, the most common reasons are that the person being tested was either uncooperative or too drunk to complete the test. An extremely drunk person may not have enough control of their lungs to blow a steady sample. Or they might not have enough muscle control in their lips to create a good seal around the breathalyzer mouthpiece. An uncooperative person usually believes they are over the limit and fears the results will incriminate them.
A proper test requires two samples be taken. Caldwell successfully gave one sample but refused to take the test a second time claiming he believed the machine to be faulty.
Caldwell also felt because of his position, he should be above the law. Repeatedly telling arresting officers he was chairman of the liquor board and ultimately asking if there was “a way we can make this thing go away.”
Speaking to Fox 5 DC’s Paul Wagner, Caldwell said the whole thing is being “blown out of proportion” and that he was unsteady on his feet because he is 73 years old. Amazingly, he also admitted to the reporter he had been drinking cocktails for a couple of hours before getting behind the wheel. This cavalier attitude toward drinking and driving is common among serial drunk drivers.
If you could, you’d fire this guy, right? Although Governor Hogan can appoint a board Chair, he cannot fire one. He was quick however, to ask for Caldwell’s resignation. Caldwell wisely agreed to step down.
Governor Hogan has been busy appointing people in his cabinet and staff. He didn’t see this coming and has yet to appoint a replacement for Caldwell.
Meanwhile, Caldwell’s predecessor is still fighting the ‘coup’ of his board position.
Wouldn’t it be great if Governor Hogan appointed the next Chairman under the stipulation that the appointee be barred from attending Grand Opening events?
By the way, on Halloween, the Board encouraged YOU to plan a safe ride home on facebook.