Salisbury Parents React to Md AG's Handling of Teen Party - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Salisbury Parents React to Md AG's Handling of Teen Party

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Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler is shown in this Instragram photo taken during a summer beach party in South Bethany, Del. Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler is shown in this Instragram photo taken during a summer beach party in South Bethany, Del.

SALISBURY, Md.- In a press conference held Thursday, Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler said that he should have done more to see if there was underage drinking at a teen beach party he visited back in June in South Bethany Beach, Del. 

Gansler, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor, said that he needed to meet his 19-year-old son to talk to about travel plans.
 
A photo obtained by The Baltimore Sun and published Thursday shows Gansler amid a group of partying teens. Some of the young people are dancing and there are several red plastic cups visible.
 
Gansler said that while there was loud music, he did not see any drinking. He said that he left after talking with his son and saw no reason to call police.

"What I could have done was to investigate whether there was drinking going on and then taken action on that," Gansler said. "Do I regret that when I was there I could have investigated whether there were kids that were drinking, that might have been under age? We are all confronted with that as parents. How do you react? What do you do? What is the appropriate thing to do in that situation where there are 19- to 20-year-old old kids that are having fun, having a party and some of whom who maybe drinking in other parts of the house?"

WBOC spoke with some parents in Salisbury who said that they aren't sure why the attorney general who is also a parent didn't intervene after suspecting underage drinking at the party. 

"These situations can get out of hand very easily," said William Hall, who is a defense attorney in downtown Salisbury.

Hall said that if the incident had happened in Maryland, it could carry some serious charges.

"You can face criminal charges and you can also face civil charges and especially in this day and age with social media people will find out," Hall explained. "I have defended parents in cases like this and they have been charged with everything from furnishing alcohol to minor, to reckless endangerment to contributing to the conditions of a minor and all those offenses can carry fines and possible jail time."

Some parents like Charles Smith and Greg Whittaker said that Gansler did not use good judgment.

"I think he should surrender and get the heck out of politics," Smith said. "Nobody wants a governor or even a street sweeper who says one thing and does another."

"I don't know if he put a stop to it or just breezed right through and took off saying 'you all have a good time'," said  Whittaker. "If that is the case, that's horrible and that is not the way a parent should run his household." 

Gansler was also part of a Public Service Announcement that was posted on YouTube last December in which he urges parents to discourage their teens from drinking alcohol.
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