EASTERN SHORE, Md. --
A Maryland state trooper is under investigation after a woman complained that he made racial slurs on her cell phone.
Teleta DaShiell let the 11 News I-Team listen to the message a caller apparently never intended for her to hear.
"Hey, it's Sergeant M. with the State Police. Call me back," the message said, and then it sounded like the call disconnected, but it didn't.
"Why, that's what I think about it, and I need to hear (expletive) like that ... That's when I say to myself, 'Oh my God … I'm listening to some God dang (expletive)'s voice mail play for 20 minutes,'" the trooper said as the call continued.
Trooper Sgt. John Maiello was accused of leaving the message. A member of the Maryland State Police for 13 years, Maiello is a fugitive criminal investigator for the Eastern Shore. He also served on Gov. Martin O'Malley's transition team for public safety, corrections and state police.
DaShiell said she received the call on Nov. 3 as police searched the Eastern Shore town of Princess Anne and Somerset counties for a fugitive. She had already told them she didn't know where the person was.
"So, I'm like, 'He really said this?' He's supposed to be helping us, and he said this over a voice mail? Something ain't right," she said.
After a while, the trooper apparently realized the call was still connected and hung up, I-Team reporter Barry Simms said.
"I was just hurt. I'm really hurt for it to come out of an officer's mouth," DaShiell said.
"This is an officer sworn to uphold the law, and if he has these opinions, he should take a step back and look at how he conducts himself professionally and personally," said DaShiell's attorney, Larry Greenberg.
Kirkland Hall, the president of the Somerset County NAACP, asked the attorney general's office to investigate. He said the situation is discouraging but not surprising.
"I am also disappointed at other officers who were there and heard that statement. I think it would have been excellent to tell the officer that's not a proper statement to make," he said.
Maryland State Police told 11 News that they have been notified of a complaint by a citizen who alleges that a state trooper made a racially insensitive and inappropriate remark.
The department said it takes complaints of that type very seriously and launched an immediate investigation.
While the investigation continues, the trooper's police powers have been suspended. He is currently on administrative duty with pay.
Copyright 2009 by wbaltv.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.