Former S&L president wins review of prison drug ruling

December 24, 1991|By Jay Apperson | Jay Apperson,Sun Staff Correspondent

ANNAPOLIS -- Jeffrey A. Levitt, serving a 30-year sentence for his role in the state's savings and loan scandal, won a round yesterday in his fight against a prison ruling he says unjustly labeled him a drug user.

Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Eugene M. Lerner ordered a new hearing into an administrative charge that Levitt possessed a hypodermic syringe in his cell at the Maryland Correctional Institution at Jessup.

Although a urine test cleared Levitt of drug use, he was found guilty of the charge in a May 1990 administrative hearing and spent 10 days in solitary confinement, his attorney, W. Michael Mullen said.

Levitt, through his lawyer, denied ever having used drugs.

Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Eugene M. Lerner ruled that Levitt will be allowed to present the results of a subsequent polygraph examination that showed he knew nothing of the syringe.

Through his attorney, Levitt, 49, complained that the conviction would be a black mark against him when he is considered for parole in about two years. "It's his understanding that he's essentially considered a drug user," Mr. Mullen told the court. He said Levitt's record as an inmate has otherwise been spotless.

The lawyer said, "It's been his contention from the beginning that this was one of those unfortunate prison incidents where someone didn't like him and planted the syringe in his cell."

Levitt, who wore a polo shirt and corduroy pants in court yesterday, is now at the Brockbridge Correctional Facility in Jessup. The former Old Court Savings and Loan Association president pleaded guilty in 1986 to stealing $14.6 million from the thrift.

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