Delegate's bill would threaten jobs of men who fired brother

January 20, 1994|By Joan Jacobson | Joan Jacobson,Staff Writer

Del. Tony E. Fulton, D-Baltimore, says it's merely a coincidence that he has introduced a bill that would jeopardize the jobs of the two men who fired his brother from the state's pretrial release office in December 1992.

Mr. Fulton's bill would transfer the Pretrial Release Services Program from the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services to the District Court. The court's chief judge would have the power to appoint a new pretrial director and deputy director.

The current director, John Camou, and deputy, Robert Weisengoff fired Delegate Fulton's brother, Terry D. Fulton, for allegedly falsifying $125 in mileage expenses over a four-month period in 1992, according to documents in the administrative law hearing on the case. He had worked for the office for 10 years.

The pretrial release program screens people arrested for crimes and recommends whether judges should release them while awaiting trial.

Delegate Fulton said he introduced the bill because it's more logical for the courts, rather than the prison system, to run the pretrial program.

He denied that the bill is in retaliation for his brother's firing. But he said he believes the firing was politically motivated.

Delegate Fulton said he has made inquiries for years into complaints from the pretrial program's employees, including "discriminatory practices in terms of promotions, lack of training and a power struggle between judges and those who work with the jail unit."

Robert Weisengoff said of Delegate Fulton's bill, "I have no idea why he's doing this." He declined to comment further.

Baltimore City Detention Center Commissioner LaMont Flanagan, who oversees the pretrial division, said his agency is against the bill because, "pretrial belongs in the executive branch, not the judicial branch." He said the transfer would cost Maryland an extra $500,000 because the courts would have to duplicate some services already provided by the corrections division.

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