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O'Malley's 'Cozy' Relationship With Perdue Criticized

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Interpretations differ about the extent of the relationship between Gov. Martin O'Malley and Perdue general counsel Herb Frerichs.
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Interpretations differ about the extent of the relationship between Gov. Martin O'Malley and Perdue general counsel Herb Frerichs.

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley is under fire by a national consumer group. They say the Governor is a little too tight with Perdue Farms on the Eastern Shore.

Scott Edwards of the non-profit group Food and Water Watch says the 70 pages of emails acquired between Governor O'Malley and the general counsel of Perdue Farms shows an alarming and "cozy" relationship that gives the poultry giant unprecedented access to the Governor and a relationship, he says, could be a reason the poultry industry isn't forced to operate under stricter regulations.

"There's tons of indicators in here that show a relationship that goes beyond friends having conversations about things, this is a very important issue as Industrial Agriculture is the biggest polluter of the [Chesapeake] Bay," says Scott Edwards.

Perdue spokesperson Julie DeYoung says it's common knowledge that the company's general counsel Herb Frerichs went to law school with O'Malley, and that the conversations in these emails are only proof that Fredrichs is"doing his job."

In addition, Wicomico County Executive Rick Pollitt also blasted the complaint in a letter to the editor in the Salisbury Daily Times saying that he thinks it's a good thing Perdue has found a way to engage the Governor for what he says will be for the betterment of the entire industry on the Eastern Shore.

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