Chronic drunken driver free on appeal bond of $25 Retired Arundel officer was given 2-year sentence

May 30, 1992|By Jay Apperson | Jay Apperson,Staff Writer

A retired Anne Arundel County police sergeant sentenced last week to two years in jail for his 13th alcohol-related driving charge is back on the streets, free on $25 appeal bond set by the judge who tried him.

And it isn't the first time Andrew A. Brady has been set free in spite of his arrest and conviction records.

At a May 21 sentencing hearing in District Court in Glen Burnie, Judge Donald M. Lowman told Mr. Brady, ". . . There's nothing we can do to stop you from drinking or stop you from driving except to put youin jail." What the judge didn't say that day was that he was setting an "appeal bond" for the 69-year-old admitted alcoholic.

Mr. Brady, who has 64 points on his driving record, had been held in the Anne Arundel County Detention Center in lieu of $10,000 bond from December until his April 30 trial. After finding the Glen Burnie man guilty, Judge Lowman revoked his bond, only to set the appeal bond at sentencing three weeks later.

Mr. Brady posted bond one day after being sentenced. A relative said yesterday that Mr. Brady is living in an apartment in the county. He could remain free until his appeal of Judge Lowman's conviction and sentence is heard in Circuit Court.

Upon learning yesterday that Mr. Brady had been released, Steven N. Leitess, an assistant state's attorney for Anne Arundel County, began working to get him back behind bars.

"I'm trying to find out how to go about having the bail reviewed and increased because his past record indicates he is a clear and present danger to the community," Mr. Leitess said yesterday afternoon. "He's got a two-year sentence for his 13th conviction and it has to be dealt with more strictly than it is."

The last time Mr. Brady was released on bail to await trial on drunken-driving charges he stayed out of trouble for all of two days.

Court records show Mr. Brady had been arrested for drunken driving four times within three weeks -- including arrests on consecutive days -- before Judge Martha F. Rasin released him on his own recognizance at a May 29, 1990, bail review hearing.

The judge ordered Mr. Brady, who by then had accumulated nine drunken-driving charges going back to 1981, to check in with state pretrial release officials once a week and attend five Alcoholics Anonymous meetings a week.

Three days later, however, Mr. Brady was arrested and charged with drunken driving after tests showed his blood alcohol level was .28 percent, nearly three times the level indicating intoxication.

He was arrested again on drunken-driving charges on June 6, 1990 -- marking his sixth arrest in less than a month -- and again in September 1990, leading a judge to order him held without bond.

Judge Rasin declined to comment on her ruling, explaining that she could not recall what factors were raised during the hearing. Attempts to reach Judge Lowman and Mr. Brady for comment yesterday were unsuccessful.

Judges contending with the slew of charges of drunken driving and driving without a license against Mr. Brady often dealt with his cases in batches, giving out concurrent sentences for two and three offenses.

In 1985 he received a nine-month suspended sentence and was placed on probation for four drunken-driving offenses. Court records show he was to receive treatment at the Raft House, a residential alcohol treatment facility in the county.

In December 1990 he was sentenced to a year in jail on three drunken-driving charges; in February 1991 he received two years, with one suspended, and was ordered to spend 33 days at the Prince George's County DWI Facility.

Richard Baker, superintendent of the Anne Arundel County Detention Center, refused this week to release records showing the amount of time served by Mr. Brady.

Last October, Arch Edington, director of Raft House, wrote that Mr. Brady was due to complete that program Nov. 15, 1991. Mr. Brady was arrested for drunken driving two weeks later.

There is no indication he has ever been involved in a fatal accident, but two Scandinavian exchange students were injured when they were struck by his car in 1981. Charging documents show that on at least one occasion police found him passed out cold in his car on a highway median.

In a May 1 letter to Judge Lowman, Mr. Brady wrote that he had enjoyed over a year of sobriety before his latest "slip." He added, "I am an alcoholic, your honor, not a criminal."

In better days, Mr. Brady was known as a keen investigator with the Anne Arundel County Police Department, rising to detective sergeant. "He helped solve 52 crimes" read the caption to a photograph in a 1966 edition of The Sun. The photograph shows Mr. Brady receiving a commendation for helping to crack a Brooklyn Park burglary ring.

Before trying him last month, Judge Lowman said Mr. Brady had once been a "top cop" notable for honesty on the witness stand.

But law enforcement sources say privately that Mr. Brady's reputation dimmed in the latter years of his police career as his drinking apparently became more troublesome. In September 1974, he was suspended without pay after being among five people rounded up during a prostitution raid at a Glen Burnie home. Facing departmental charges, the 21-year veteran retired two weeks later.

Asked this week whether Mr. Brady is an embarrassment to the county police, department spokesman V. Richard Molloy said, "Yes, because of the numerous chances he has had to straighten himself out."

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