Councilmen Ewing, Subin make up after run-in
May 31, 2002
Theodore Kim
Staff Writer

ROCKVILLE -- Montgomery County Councilmen Michael L. Subin and Blair G. Ewing met face-to-face this week for the first time since Subin physically threatened Ewing following a May 16 budget meeting.

On Tuesday, Subin (D-At large) of Gaithersburg and Ewing (D-At large) of Silver Spring met privately for about 15 minutes in a council conference room to clear the air. Subin apologized and Ewing accepted, according to the two men.

Subin and Ewing, who are both seeking re-election, attended a forum for council candidates at a Derwood church on Wednesday night. The two appeared to be on relatively friendly terms during the forum, with Subin referring more than once to "my colleague Blair Ewing" and Ewing doing the same.

"We're moving on," Subin told The Gazette before the forum.

Ewing and other council members who witnessed the incident said that after a heated work session on the budget and taxes May 16, Subin angrily confronted Ewing and said, "I'm gonna cut your balls off. I'm gonna get you." Subin then turned away when Ewing said, "Don't threaten me." Subin confronted Ewing again and repeated the phrase. Councilman Isiah Leggett (D-At large) of Burtonsville then stepped between the two and pushed Subin away.

Ewing considered filing a formal complaint with the state's attorney's office but chose not to. The Gazette first reported the incident on May 22.

Last week, Subin released a written statement in which he expressed "regret" over the incident but did not apologize to Ewing.

Subin, a respected four-term incumbent, is known for his occasionally explosive temper. Almost everyone, including his closest supporters, said he had crossed the line. However, many of his allies, while denouncing Subin's behavior, suggested that Ewing's repeated criticisms of the budget and other issues have added to a tense political atmosphere on the council.

Some current and former lawmakers, pointing to past incidents, viewed the May 16 outburst as more serious and said Subin had done irreparable damage to his reputation.