BALTIMORE — Under scrutiny for his presence at a party where teens said there was underage drinking, Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler said Thursday that in retrospect, he should have done more to intervene.
"Perhaps I should have assumed there was drinking in the home, and I got that wrong," Gansler said.
He said not investigating whether teens were drinking "was a mistake I made." Sometimes it is difficult, he said, to know how to do the right thing as a parent.
Gansler spoke at a news conference he scheduled to respond to a report in the Baltimore Sun about his role in a senior week party in Delaware in June. He said firmly he will remain a candidate in the Democratic race for governor.
The article about Gansler's presence at the party at a South Bethany, Del., vacation house — where participants later confirmed teens were drinking — sparked a vigorous debate on Baltimore talk radio about responsibilities of parents to monitor their underage children's alcohol use.
Gansler was part of a group of parents who chipped in to rent a six-bedroom house and made detailed plans for a senior week party for their sons.
He was captured on video and in a photo at the house while the party was in full swing. Young people who were at the party told the Sun many of the partygoers were drinking alcohol. Video shows partiers dancing on the breakfast bar and a table.
The attorney general told the Sun he stopped by the house to talk briefly with his teenage son and then left. He said he doesn't remember whether he saw anyone drinking. But even if he had, Gansler said in the article, it was not his responsibility as a parent or a high-ranking law enforcement official to intervene.