Axed Trooper Goes To Court Seeking Full Reinstatement

Scarborough Demands Patrol, Not Desk Job

April 21, 1991|By Alan J. Craver | Alan J. Craver,Staff writer

A state police trooper fired two weeks ago for disobeying orders is asking a Harford Circuit Court judge to order his supervisors to givehim back his patrol job.

The trooper, Jerry M. Scarborough, was dismissed April 11 because he refused to answer questions from a statepolice internal affairs officer about a dispute with his neighbors in the 3700 block of Dublin Road, his lawyer says.

Scarborough, who has been a trooper for 14 years, was named the 1990 Maryland Trooper of the Year. He is stationed at the Benson barracks.

Circuit Judge Stephen M. Waldron ordered the state police to reinstate Scarborough April 12 until a hearing is scheduled to decidewhether the trooper can return to work permanently, according to Circuit Court documents.

The order says Scarborough is to return to "full-duty status without loss of rank, privilege or back pay."

When Scarborough returned to work, he was assigned to desk duties at theBenson barracks by his supervisor, Lt. Roy A. Nye, said Scarborough's attorney, Lester V. Jones of Bel Air.

Nye told Jones that he wasfollowing the orders of State Police Superintendent Elmer H. Tippettwhen he assigned Scarborough to desk duties, Jones contends in a letter to state police contained in court documents.

Jones is asking the court to find Tippett in contempt of court for failing to assign Scarborough to his former patrol duties. He argues the April 12 judge's order requires state police to assign the trooper to his former duties on patrol, court documents show.

Circuit Judge Maurice W. Baldwin Jr. signed a second order April 15 requiring Tippett to comply with Waldron's order or show why the order cannot be met by Tuesday.

Assistant Attorney General Millicent Edwards Gordon, who is representing the state police, has asked the court to dismiss Scarborough's request to be assigned back on patrol.

Scarborough's dismissal came after a meeting with Tippett following a police internal affairs office investigation of a June 20, 1990, confrontation Scarborough had with friends of his neighbors in Dublin.

Scarborough, 37, was charged in a private complaint filed by the mother of a 13-year-old CecilCounty boy, who claimed that Scarborough struck him when the youth went into the trooper's yard to retrieve a ball.

The boy was visiting Scarborough's neighbors at the time of the incident.

Scarborough was charged with battery by the boy's mother. He was found not guilty Nov. 9, following a two-day jury trial in Circuit Court.

After the charges were filed against Scarborough, the state po

lice started an internal affairs investigation, the trooper's lawyer said.

Court records show an internal affairs investigator questioned Scarborough about the incident, but Scarborough refused to answer.

The investigator charged Scarborough with refusing to obey orders of his superiors and refusing to submit to questioning during an administrative investigation, Jones says in court documents.

As a result of the charges, Scarborough went before a state police administrative trial board March 11, records say.

The trial board ruled that Scarborough did not obey the investigator's orders, court documents say.

The board recommended that Scarborough be suspended for 10 days without pay and lose his 80 hours of annual leave, Jones says in court records.

Tippett, however, did not agree with the board's recommendations and ordered Scarborough to meet with him on April 11, Jones says in court records.

During the meeting, Tippett fired Scarborough.

"(Tippett) was arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable, not supported by the law or the facts, and the penalty imposed was inappropriate for the alleged offense as committed," Jones contends in the appeal Scarborough filed to get his

job back.

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