ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Maryland Governor Larry Hogan blasted Montgomery County Public Schools officials Tuesday, demanding that the district turn over information about what led to the rape of a 14-year-old girl in the bathroom at Rockville High School last week.
So far, Montgomery County officials have refused to provide information to both the governor's officer and the state Board of Education. It's rare to hear Governor Hogan as angry as he was about this story. He is angry, and he says it's with good reason.
It's been five days since the rape took place at Rockville High School. The public often has to press for answers from public officials, but in this case, Governor Hogan says he is beyond frustrated--just like everyone else. As he watched coverage of the story on FOX 5 Monday night, he shared many of the same questions we posed about the attack, but the public weren't alone in not getting responses.
Governor Hogan was visibly heated Tuesday, pulling no punches when he revealed that MCPS officials have refused to answer state requests for information. He says people have a right to know more than what they've been told.
"Why is an 18-year-old man in a class with 13 or 14-year-old girls? Why was his status not known to those folks? Why was he allowed to enter the country after he was picked up for illegally crossing the border--both of them? So there are a lot of questions," Hogan told FOX 5's Tom Fitzgerald.
One of those remaining questions is why the Montgomery County School Board is not cooperating, not only with his staff, but with the state's Board of Education about the case when asked.
"My biggest concern is the Montgomery County School System-- and their lack of cooperation and the lack of information they've been providing," Hogan said. "Not only have they refused to provide any information to us, but they've refused to provide information to the state Board of Education, which specifically requested more information."
On Monday night, in what may be a stunning act of political bad timing, Democrats in Maryland's House of Delegates passed a bill banning police from checking the immigration status of individuals they arrest, or keeping them locked up long enough for federal officials to deport them. In the wake of the issues surrounding the Rockville High School student's attack, Governor Hogan said that amounted to trying to turn Maryland into a sanctuary state--and he called it nothing short of absurd.
"I'm going to veto it immediately. I can't imagine what these people were thinking," Governor Hogan said. "To even propose such a bill a few days after this girl was brutally raped by these two young men who were in this country illegally."
Hogan did have positive words for the work of Montgomery County police, who have worked with Maryland State Police on the investigation, and for Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett, who has been in close contact with him. However, Hogan says he will continue to keep pressing to get to the bottom of the situation.