The national consumer group Food & Water Watch criticized Governor Martin O’Malley’s close relationship with Perdue Farms calling it – in the organization’s words – unnervingly close and direct.
The criticism comes after a Freedom of Information Act revealed 70 pages of emails between O’Malley and Herb Frerichs, the general counsel for Perdue business services.
The subjects range from chicken waste incineration to wind energy.
Food & Water Watch noted that there were several exchanges going back to August of 2010.
The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the group points to one that involved comments by the Governor’s press secretary to a local newspaper about a petition by the group Environment Maryland.
The petition was signed by 55 farmers asking O’Malley to hold large poultry producers responsible for pollution in the Chesapeake Bay from the chicken houses.
In the exchange O’Malley sent an email to company Chairman Jim Perdue assuring him that his press secretary’s comments were not specifically related to the poultry industry but to all sectors on the pollution issue.
The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the governor’s communications director dispute the characterization of the email while Julie DeYoung with Perdue said it is no secret that O’Malley and the Frerichs have known each other since law school.