Identities of those accused in scandal are disclosed Battalion chief, police hero tied to Annapolis sex case

November 05, 1991|By Robert Lee

A Fire Department battalion chief and a police officer who once saved a boy trapped in an electrical transformer were among the seven Annapolis fire and police department employees disciplined last week for sexual misconduct on the job, several sources close to the Police Department confirmed yesterday.

Battalion Chief James Jones, Lt. Eden Avery, Lt. Kenny Rowe, firefighters Robert Thomas and Scott Baer and police officers Darryle Hall and Peter Medley were the public safety officers disciplined after an 11-week probe of the scandal, according to four sources close to the department.

Chief Jones, who knew of the misconduct but did nothing about it, and Mr. Thomas and Lieutenant Rowe were fired, the sources said. The others received 30-day suspensions without pay.

None of the officers nor their lawyers could be contacted for comment last night.

Administration pressured

Union officials and lawyers representing the seven officers had pressured the administration to keep the names secret, but many officers complained that they were unfairly subjected to ridicule while the names of the officers involved in the sexual misconduct remained under wraps.

Yesterday morning, Black Officers Association President George Kelley held a news conference to announce that none of the police officers involved in the scandal was a minority.

Officer Kelley said he wanted to clear his name and the names of 25 other black officers in the 115-person Police Department and to protect them from a steady stream of innuendo and ridicule they have faced since the scandal became public last week.

Mr. Kelley said that in addition to restoring both the integrity of the police and fire departments, the Hopkins administration should release the names because two black officers, members of the Delta Force narcotics unit, were named during a 1989 misconduct probe.

Double standard alleged

The continuing refusal to name the officers who were suspended last week, Mr. Kelley said, shows that the city employs a double standard against blacks.

He urged Chief Harold Robbins or Annapolis Mayor Alfred A. Hopkins to release the names of the two officers who were disciplined last week after the investigation by internal affairs officers in the fire and police departments.

Mayor Hopkins would neither confirm nor deny the names in the report.

Public Safety chairwoman Alderman Theresa DeGraff, R-7th, said she was especially surprised to see the name of Officer Medley on the list.

Officer Medley, 37, was recognized as a hero by the department for pulling 8-year-old Terrence Tolbert of the 1300 block of Tyler Avenue from a transformer in April. An Annapolis resident held a 13,000-volt live wire cable back with a rake, leaving Officer Medley free to pull Terrence out.

Officer Hall was shot three times with his own .38-caliber service revolver in May 1987 after a suspect he was chasing managed to wrest the gun from him during a struggle in Annapolis.

Both officers have waived their rights to a trial and accepted 30-day suspensions without pay for having sex on duty in their police cars.

Cpl. Jim Duran, shop steward for the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 400 that is the bargaining unit for all city police officers, said no vote has been taken but "the consensus in the union" was that the names of the implicated officers should have been kept secret, "not so much for the individuals' sake, but for the protection of the individuals' wives and families," Corporal Duran said.

Thomas Roskelly, a spokesman for Mr. Hopkins, said the city had been prepared to release the names of officers who were implicated in the "detailed and confidential" probe until a half-hour before a news conference Friday, when a lawyer representing the officers threatened the mayor with a civil lawsuit, convincing Annapolis city attorney Jonathan A. Hodgson keep secret the names of the suspended officers.

City Fire Union President John Morgan could not be reached for comment.

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