Ousted official drops extradition fight

April 22, 1993|By JoAnna Daemmrich | JoAnna Daemmrich,Staff Writer

The bizarre case of Teddy C. Ryan Jr., the former Cumberland city manager who spent his second week of work in jail, took a new turn yesterday when he agreed to return to Florida to stand trial in a $100,000 robbery.

"Given the process that's available, it's my wish not to embroil the state of Maryland in any unnecessary difficulties or expenses," said Mr. Ryan, 49, as he abruptly dropped his fight against extradition.

He was led in shackles from an office of the secretary of state in Annapolis where he had gone for an extradition hearing. He was taken to a police car to be driven to Allegany County to formally waive his right to fight extradition, a procedure which in Maryland is under the jurisdiction of the secretary of state.

He has been held at the Allegany County Detention Center since his arrest.

Michael Barfield, a legal aide who works for Mr. Ryan's attorney, Richard Lee Barrett, said Mr. Ryan expects to return to Florida by the end of the week and plead innocent.

Florida authorities already are holding Mr. Ryan's younger brother and alleged accomplice, Robert, on charges of kidnapping, armed robbery and aggravated assault.

Florida police charge that on Jan. 22 -- four days after Mr. Ryan was interviewed for the Cumberland job -- he helped his brother hold five people hostage at gunpoint.

The Ryan brothers allegedly entered the Port Charlotte, Fla., home of Joyce Zirko posing as prospective house buyers, according to police documents filed with the state.

Inside the home, they tied up Ms. Zirko, her daughter and a friend, both 13, and sprayed pepper Mace at the real-estate agent, Kathy Green.

The brothers allegedly terrorized the group for nine hours, then strapped an explosive to Ms. Zirko's boyfriend, Steve Duke, and forced him to get $100,000 from his pawn shop, according to the affidavit.

Mr. Barfield said yesterday that Mr. Ryan was with his mother in Sanford, a three-hour drive from Port Charlotte, at the time. He also maintained that Mr. Ryan is suffering from amnesia because of a near-fatal car accident Feb. 6.

Mr. Ryan, a city administrator with 25 years' experience, was scheduled to start his $50,000 a year job in Western Maryland Feb. 15, but began late after he drove his car under a tractor-trailer at a highway rest stop.

He was later dismissed.

Yesterday, Mr. Barfield said that his client wants to resume a normal life after the trial.

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