Arundel officers accused Pair allegedly had sex with informants

July 15, 1993|By Kris Antonelli | Kris Antonelli,Staff Writer

Two more Anne Arundel County police officers have been charged administratively with having sex with confidential informants during the last several months, police sources confirmed yesterday.

Sgts. Bret K. Ballam and Henry A. McClung have been charged with conduct unbecoming an officer and violating departmental rules, the sources said. The officers are among a dozen being investigated by the department's Internal Affairs Unit over allegations they had sex with three women who worked as drug informants for the Police Department, according to the sources.

Two other detectives were charged administratively last month, sources said.

Thomas A. Pavlinic, the lawyer for the sergeants and one of the detectives charged last month, said these are the first disciplinary complaints lodged against the officers in their careers. They have served an average of about 17 years each.

"They are not cowboys," he said. "They are guys who care about their jobs and their families."

The charges against Sergeant McClung, head of the Traffic Safety Unit, involve an incident in which he allegedly picked up a 24-year-old Glen Burnie woman, an informant, while he was in uniform, gave her money and took her to a liquor store where she bought alcohol, the sources said.

The sources said Sergeant McClung took the woman to Sergeant Ballam's home, where he told her that he was Lt. Hank Snow, who is the commander of the Internal Affairs Unit.

Sergeant McClung was not charged with impersonating a higher ranking officer, the sources said.

According to the sources, Sergeant McClung allegedly had sex with the Glen Burnie informant or another woman informant at the house, as did Sergeant Ballam. Sergeant Ballam, formerly a narcotics officer, now is a patrol supervisor at the Eastern District station.

Officer Terry Crowe, police spokesman, would not comment on the allegations.

Mr. Pavlinic said, "All of these officers came forward on their own, admitted their involvement and to using bad judgment. And they expect to be punished."

He would not comment on specifics.

He said his clients could waive their right to an administrative hearing if they and Chief Robert Russell agree on a punishment.

Police sources said that the investigation began in April when a narcotics officer at Northern District station got a tip from a federal agent, who had been told by one of his informants that county officers were sleeping with their informants.

The county narcotics officer went to his supervisor, who informed Chief Russell, the sources said.

The sources said Northern District narcotics officers served a search warrant at the home of the Glen Burnie informant and charged her with possession of drug paraphernalia and cocaine. The woman told officers of her sexual relationship with a detective.

One of the detectives facing departmental charges allegedly had sex with a 19-year-old Glen Burnie woman, the other with the 24-year-old woman. It was unclear, however, which officer was involved with which informant.

If the officers are found guilty, their punishment is at the discretion of the chief. It could range from fines to being fired.

Anne Arundel's police department has been plagued by sexual misconduct charges for more than a year.Since February 1992, nine women have filed sexual harassment charges against five officers.

Four months ago, a woman who said a former county officer raped her during a traffic stop filed a $70 million lawsuit alleging that police were so tolerant of sexual harassment that it endangered women throughout Anne Arundel County.

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