Officer Asks City To Reimburse Legal Costs

April 19, 1991|By Paul Shread | Paul Shread,Staff writer

Annapolis Police Sgt. Robert E. Beans, who was cleared of charges hebroke departmental rules last year, has asked the city to reimburse him for his legal expenses.

Beans said he had to take out a secondmortgage to pay his legal bills, which he said totaled about $70,000. He wouldn't say how much money he has requested from the city.

"It's nothing outrageous," Beans said. "All I want is the money Iput out. The city didn't have a case at all. The city attorney should have known this before putting on a trial."

Beans may have to sue to get his money. Mayor Alfred A. Hopkins said he opposes making cash settlements, but said he will ask for the City Council's input in a closed session Monday night.

"I'm just one of nine," Hopkinssaid. "The other eight could disagree."

Baltimore attorney C. Christopher Brown is representing Beans. Brown has discussed a settlement with City Attorney Jonathan Hodgson for several months.

Beans was head of the now-defunct Delta Force drug squad. A police trial board last May found Beans not guilty of charges of incompetence, conduct unbecoming an officer and violating departmental rules.

Beans and another Delta Force member, Officer Chandler Powell, spent eight months on desk duty while the department and state agencies investigated Delta Force's operations. Charges against Powell were dropped after Beanswas cleared, and the two officers were returned to street duty.

Ironically, the controversy began in mid-1989 when Beans accused whiteofficers of racism and racial sabotage.

Black community leaders and residents protested the treatment of Beans and Powell and called for their return to street duty, saying the drug problem had gotten worse since Delta Force was disbanded. Protesters labeled then-Police Chief John C. Schmitt a racist for his treatment of the two officers.Schmitt, who retired last year under a settlement with Hopkins, denied the charges.

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