AA County Council Chair Peroutka Claims On Official Documents that He is an Attorney at Non-Existent Law Firm
by Carmen Skarlupka in The Arundel Patriot website, December 18, 2017
Anne Arundel County Council Chairman Michael Peroutka has violated the Annotated Code of Maryland Attorneys’ Rules of Professional Conduct. On Federal and State documents, Peroutka claims he is an attorney practicing law for Peroutka and Peroutka. However, this is a law firm that no longer exists and ceased to legally exist on July 23, 2014 – approximately three and a half years ago. His claim of working for a non-existent corporation violates the Annotated Code of Maryland Rule 19-307.5 Firm Names and Letterheads, specifically:
(c) The name of an attorney holding a public office shall not be used in the name of a law firm, or in communications on its behalf, during any substantial period in which the attorney is not actively and regularly practicing with the firm.
Peroutka’s violation of the above clause is shown by the November 15, 2017, Judge Roy Moore for US Senate campaign report to the U.S. Federal Election Commission (FEC). The report lists Michael A. Peroutka donating $2,000. The details of that political campaign contribution (Schedule A (FEC Form 3) Itemized Receipts) reveal Peroutka reported his occupation as “Attorney” and his employer as Peroutka & Peroutka, located at 8028 Ritchie Hwy, Suite 300, Pasadena, MD 21122. This firm does not exist, and Peroutka retired and closed the business on August 1, 2014.
Earlier this year, on a June 9, 2017 FEC filing regarding another donation to Judge Roy Moore for US Senate of $2,500, Peroutka claimed he was self-employed and listed his home address.
Peroutka also states in the 2017 Maryland State Bar Association’s Member Directory that his employer is Peroutka and Peroutka, P.A., 8028 Ritchie Hwy, Ste 300, Pasadena, MD. Again, this firm has not existed for approximately three and a half years. This is another violation of Attorney’s Rules of Professional Conduct and a violation of the Annotated Code of Maryland here:
(d) Attorneys may state or imply that they practice in a partnership or other organization only when that is the fact.
Historical records show that on August 1, 2014, Peroutka retired from Peroutka & Peroutka, P.A., a law firm he co-partnered with his brother, according to the company’s website. When Peroutka won the primary in 2014, the law firm of Peroutka and Peroutka drafted Articles of Amendment renaming the law firm after Steve Peroutka and announced Michael’s retirement from the firm.
In 2015, the law firm changed its name from The Steve Peroutka Law Group, P.A. to Peroutka, Miller, Klima & Peters, P.A. (PMKP). On the Maryland Judiciary’s Maryland Attorney Listing, Peroutka is currently listed as an Active Attorney, using the same address and phone number as Peroutka, Miller, Klima & Peters, P.A.
The State of Maryland Business Entity Search verifies only one corporation legally exists today that contains the name Peroutka. That is Peroutka, Miller, Klima & Peters, P.A. Articles of Amendment filed with the State of Maryland indicate that PMKP has operated at the same location, 8028 Ritchie Hwy, Suite 300, Pasadena, MD 21122, since December 3, 2015. PMKP is owned by Michael Peroutka’s brother and partners.
Councilman Peroutka is an attorney who was admitted to the Maryland State Bar on May 1, 1981, according to the Maryland State Bar Association’s Member Directory.
December 17, 2017 data from the Maryland State Bar Association Directory on Michael A. Peroutka shows the following:
Maryland State Bar Association (MSBA) Member DirectoryMember: Michael A Peroutka
Firm: Peroutka & Peroutka, P.A.
8028 Ritchie Hwy, Ste 300, Pasadena, MD 21122-0803
Anne Arundel County
Telephone: (410) 768-2280
Fax: (410) 553-9491
Bar Admissions: Member Admitted (MD Bar): 05/01/1981
Practice Areas: Other
Carmen Skarlupka is a writer and Navy veteran from Anne Arundel County.
Letter to the Editor, Capital Gazette, by Vikka Molldrem
I was amused by Brian Griffiths’ column about the collapse – in his dreams -- of the Democratic Party in Anne Arundel County (The Capital, Nov. 24).
Democrats are on the rise in this county. We got a major wake-up call in the 2014 election, but wake us up it did. County Democrats were out in force for the 2016 election, and for the first time in more than 50 years the Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, won Anne Arundel.
Donald Trump’s election added dramatically to the energy among county residents to defeat Republicans, reinforced by Gov. Larry Hogan’s hesitation in distancing himself from Trump and County Executive Steve Schuh’s unsustainable growth policies.
There are eight impressive Democratic gubernatorial candidates to choose from. The Democratic neighborhood campaign is engaging scores of field workers throughout the county. Progressives are well organized and play a critical role in calling out politicians on poor policies. Democratic mayoral candidate Gavin Buckley's win in Annapolis affirmed and enhanced the momentum for change.
Voters seek fresh thinking and independence from big donors. In 2018, the Democratic ballot will provide this with many talented newcomers, in addition to respected incumbents. The state Senate candidates in Districts 30 and 32 exemplify this: Pam Beidle is highly regarded for her outstanding service as delegate. Sarah Elfreth has demonstrated political savvy and strong leadership in the District 30 Democratic Club. Though not all candidates have filed yet, you can expect qualified Democratic candidates for every important position.
Voters will have an outstanding choice for county executive in Steuart Pittman. A lifelong county resident and successful business owner, he understands how the county works and what needs to be done differently. His background in community organizing will serve him well in framing the county‘s new development plan.
So dream on, Republicans.
Editor’s note: The writer is a member of the Anne Arundel County Democratic Central Committee.
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