Assault charge against council member dropped Aberdeen mayor concurs in action

May 09, 1993|By Karin Remesch | Karin Remesch,Contributing writer

Aberdeen Mayor Ruth Elliott, who filed assault charges against Councilman G. DeWayne Curry March 2, says she supports prosecutors' decision to dismiss the charges.

Harford County State's Attorney Joseph I. Cassilly's office dropped the charges Monday.

Mr. Cassilly said he had met with Mrs. Elliott and advised her that his office concluded it lacked sufficient evidence to proceed.

He said he also reviewed the case with the defendant, his counsel and the witnesses.

The mayor filed the charges after a stormy City Council meeting where discussion centered on whether Mrs. Elliott had the authority to investigate the Aberdeen Police Department and put its chief on paid administrative leave.

Over the objections of the entire council, she had launched the investigation and put the chief, John R. Jolley, on paid leave for a month, then reinstated him two weeks later.

The mayor claimed Mr. Curry's flying clenched fist came a few inches from her face during the closed-door meeting and said she feared being hit.

Mr. Curry denied the charge, and his lawyer, John S. Karas, cited affidavits from witnesses rebutting the mayor's claim.

A trial had been set for May 19.

Mrs. Elliott said Thursday that she agreed to dismissal of the charges because she wanted to prevent further tarnishing of the city's image.

"For the benefit of Aberdeen, I asked Mr. Cassilly to dismiss the case," said Mrs. Elliott.

"It's time to put all this aside and get on with the city business."

Mr. Karas criticized Mrs. Elliott's decision to file the charges in the first place.

"With all due respect to the mayor," he said, "I think she should have considered the city's image before she filed the charges.

"The damage has been done -- to the city and to Mr. Curry."

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