Leonardtown, MD- Anne Arundel County Assistant States Attorney and former St. Mary’s County Deputy States Attorney Jaymi Sterling is continuing her exploration of running for St. Mary’s County States Attorney.
Although she has not formally filed to run for St. Mary’s County States Attorney, against her old boss Richard Fritz who has served as States Attorney in St. Mary’s County for 23 years; Friends of Jaymi Sterling was formed to explore the interest in her running. A website, JaymiSterling.com was launched on February 2, 2022, to allow residents to learn more about her, ask for more information, and also donate to any potential campaign.
Financial affidavits required by the Maryland State Board of Elections show that on January 19, 2022, Sterling had received $30,000 in loans and $51,842.00 in contributions from over 240 donators. Fritz, meanwhile has collected just $5,500 from three contributors( two attorneys and a former State Delegate).
Sterling was at the center of controversy concerning the St. Mary’s County States Attorney’s Office(***) in September 2020 when she filed complaints alleging she “uncovered questionable financial and personnel practices at the County Office“.
Once the complaints were filed, Sterling was demoted by SAO Fritz and she issued the following statement,” It is clear to me that I have an ethical and moral obligation to leave the office. I look back with pride on nearly a decade of pursuing justice for the citizens of St. Mary’s County. I am sad that I have no choice but to resign.”
In response to that, Fritz released the statement,” My attorneys serve at my pleasure, quite simply she no longer serves at my pleasure as deputy state attorney. A series of bad decisions on her part caused me to take the action I did. What financial practices she is talking about I have no idea. As to the personnel matters, I cannot comment, however, her action on these matters, and staff supervision was the main reason for my actions. I would also state that when I told her I was going to run for reelection, all of this started, so I think she is probably driven by the desire for my job, rather than her concern for serving the people of this county.”
The Southern Maryland Chronicle reached out to State’s Attorney Richard Fritz on Thursday(10-1-20) in response to the allegations, and he stated, “My attorneys serve at my pleasure, quite simply she no longer serves at my pleasure as deputy state attorney. A series of bad decisions on her part caused me to take the action I did. What financial practices she is talking about I have no idea.”
In a Thursday, October 1, 2020 article on the Enterprise(SOMDNews.com), Fritz told reporter Dan Belson,” … the allegations of financial improprieties stem from a request for a $25,000 payment to pay staff for extra work for Project Graduation, a request he said was denied by the county commissioners.” Mr. Fritz denied knowing what the allegations were to the Southern Maryland Chronicle on Thursday.
At the center of the whole complaint was how Project Grad money was being spent, pay raises to certain employees, trips on county funds, and alleged workplace intimidation. Barbara Riveria, a former 21-year employee of the St Mary’s County States Attorney’s Office and 8-year Mr. Richard Fritz Assistant resigned following her complaints.
Jaymi Sterling has now been with the Anne Arundel County States Attorneys Office since October 2020. In March 2021, Sterling was listed as the Daily Records Top 100 Women in Maryland. And in May 2021, Sterling was added to a workgroup on Hate crimes committed against Asian Americans, led by former U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur.
I am truly humbled by the overwhelming expressions of support and confidence in my leadership abilities while I consider a possible run for St. Mary’s County State’s Attorney. The tremendous financial support, calls, texts, and messages on social media are extremely encouraging to me. Today I am sharing a web page that will afford folks another opportunity to share their thoughts.
Sterling graduated from the University of Maryland School of Law in 2006, and has worked in the US District Court, US Attorneys Office, along with Assistant State’s Attorney in Frederick, St. Mary’s, and Anne Arundel Counties.
The deadline for filing for candidacy is February 22, 2022.
You can find out more about Jaymi Sterling at JaymiSterling.com.
***The Southern Maryland Chronicle is continuing its investigation into the Fritz States Attorney’s Office handling of Project Grad funding, county-paid trips, and employee compensation.