Officer ousted for false reportA Baltimore police officer...

MARYLAND NEWSWATCH

March 24, 1992

MARYLAND — Officer ousted for false report

A Baltimore police officer was ordered to resign from the force and was fined $250 yesterday in Baltimore County Circuit Court for filing a false statement to county police when he reported his car stolen last May.

Officer Benjamin C. Braxton III, 26, of Championship Court in Owings Mills, must resign by May 30 as a condition of receiving probation before judgment, which means he will have no criminal record if he successfully completes 18 months' unsupervised probation.

Assistant State's Attorney Robert A. Brocato had asked for Officer Braxton's immediate resignation from the city police department, where he is assigned to the Western District. Officer Braxton asked to remain on duty until September.

Judge J. Norris Byrnes ordered him to resign by the end of May.

At his trial in January, Officer Braxton testified that his 1990 Ford Probe -- on which he had missed several payments -- was stolen from an Owings Mills Mall parking lot. Then, he said, he received an anonymous late-night call at his unlisted home number, leading to his recovery of the car in a Prince George's County apartment lot.

Judge Byrnes found Officer Braxton guilty of filing a false statement to the Baltimore County police about the theft.

The director of permits and code management for the city of Frederick has been fired for ethics violations, the mayor says.

Bal C. Menon was fired on Friday, Mayor Paul Gordon says.

Frederick County Sheriff Carl Harbaugh says an investigation into corruption in the city's permits and inspections department has found evidence of alleged influence peddling and favoritism.

Investigators also are probing financial transactions between city workers, including transfers of emergency procurement funds in amounts up to $750, which did not require approval from the mayor or the Finance Department.

Arundel County

For nearly six years, the county's K-9 officers have fed, trained and cared for their dogs in their own homes. Now, 11 of them have sued Anne Arundel County in U.S. District Court in Baltimore for back overtime pay.

The suit, filed yesterday, charges that the county has violated the federal Fair Labor Standards Act by "intentionally failing and refusing to pay" the officers for the work at home.

Michael T. Leibig, who represents the officers, says each one could get about $1,000 to $2,000 in back pay, depending on whether the officer kept a patrol dog or a drug-sniffing dog.

"The ones with the patrol dogs tend to get more time," he says.

Under a 1985 U.S. Department of Labor ruling, officers who care for city- or county-owned dogs at their homes must be compensated for the time they spend taking care of the dogs.

Baltimore County:

The Baltimore County Police Department has dropped its attempt to use the state's 277-year-old adultery law to discipline three officers, a police spokesman said yesterday.

Following Sunday's article in The Sun about the disciplining attempt, Police Chief Cornelius J. Behan announced that the law will not be the basis for administrative charges against the officers.

E. Jay Miller, a police spokesman, cited several reasons for Chief Behan's decision, among them that the adultery statute is ambiguous and the county state's attorney's office refused to file criminal charges against the officers. The law, which was enacted in 1715, provides for a $10 fine.

Lt. Louis T. Caslin, president of the Baltimore County Police Lodge 4, said he was pleased that the department chose not to seek administrative charges against the officers, whose names were not made public by the department.

Carroll County:

Kent W. Kreamer was running Westminster High's day-long drug-awareness symposium Thursday, when he learned he was Maryland's 1992 Assistant Principal of the Year.

The award, created in 1990 by McDonald's Corp. and the National Association of Secondary School Principals, means the Westminster High administrator will represent the state at a "Leadership Forum for the 21st Century" in Illinois next month.

"I can't think of anyone who deserves recognition more," says Westminster Principal Sherri-Le W. Bream, who had nominated Mr. Kreamer for the award. "He really cares about kids."

Mr. Kreamer, 41, has been a member of the faculty for 14 years, the last seven as assistant principal.

Harford County:

Gov. William Donald Schaefer and Harford County Executive Eileen M. Rehrmann broke ground yesterday on the expansion of the county's Sod Run Wastewater Treatment plant near Perryman.

The $60 million expansion will increase the plant's capacity, enabling it eventually to process 20 million gallons of wastewater daily, instead of 10 million gallons. The plant was originally designed to handle 4 million gallons a day.

The county borrowed $14.4 million at 4.5 percent interest through the Maryland Water Quality Revolving Loan program to cover part of the project's cost.

Howard County:

Another car hijacking has occurred in Columbia -- the second such incident this month.

A gunman approached a 25-year-old Columbia man Friday afternoon at the Columbia Mall, then robbed him of his car, police said.

Police said the victim was getting into his car about 2:40 p.m. when someone approached him from behind and stuck a gun to his back. Police said the gunman ordered the victim to hand over the keys to his 1992 Chevrolet Corsica. The gunman then sped away.

The victim was not injured. The car has not been recovered.

Earlier this month, a gunman robbed a Columbia man and his family of their Nissan Pathfinder at the Owen Brown Village Center. State police chased the gunman to the District of Columbia, where he abandoned the car at an apartment complex and fled into the woods.

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