It was an interesting day in Worcester County Circuit Court today. Former Pocomoke City Police Chief Kelvin Sewell went on trial for misconduct in his official capacity as a law enforcement leader. The case was not brought by local authorities; in fact it was prosecuted through an Office of the Maryland Attorney General that deals with corruption of public officials.
Sewell was dismissed by his former employer amid a cloud of questionable activities he directed or allowed as the chief. He played the race card hard and loud while his accusers were forced to remain silent due to ongoing investigations and potential litigation. In fact, with the exception of social media, his was the only voice being heard. Today, the true voice of justice resonated in a Worcester County Circuit Court with a jury of his peers.
It seems one of Sewell’s buddies (a Masonic Lodge brother and ECI Corrections Officer) got drunk and could not even drive the 7 blocks to his home without ramming two parked cars with enough force to rip off one of his front wheels! In a true November miracle, his buddy was able to flee the scene of the accident and limp his three wheel wonder vehicle back to his house. In a state of self declared “panic”...he placed a call to a magical cell phone number. In a flash, the former chief responded to the distress. He arrived on the scene, commandeered the investigation, and spelled out to his lowest ranking officer that she would record this as an “accident” as opposed to the hit and run it was in the real world. He also answered questions for his buddy when the lowly subordinate simply asked his Masonic brother, “Have you been drinking?” The incident was recorded as commanded by the chief, signed off by one of his hand picked lieutenants, and considered a perk of his position and a display of his power...and it was corrupt.
There were many other instances, but this one had the witnesses who could not be undone. After reviewing them with a Grand Jury, the State chose this as a representative instance of what the former chief was all about.
Chief Sewell had a problem with power, but he cut his teeth in a cesspool of corruption and learned from the worst in Baltimore City. The same place he left in a cloud before arriving on the doorsteps of Pocomoke City. His integrity has previously been challenged by the FBI, and today it was challenged by the State of Maryland.
Today, a jury of his peers believed the testimony of several others over the hue and cry of former chief Sewell. He did not tell the truth, he compromised his Office, and the jury called him out on it without the need to deliberate for very long.
The sentence was three years suspended with probation. Laws in Maryland will make him a prohibited person when it comes to handgun possession, so this should also be the end of a very sordid career for a guy that could have been a game changer. Instead, he chose to be a tyrant. He lied to people who trusted him and broke the public trust and he has no one to blame but himself.
Good cops spoke up today, and their voice was believed by the people they serve and protect. It was a great day for justice in our small corner of America.