Trooper appeals ruling in racial slur caseA state police...


August 10, 1994

Trooper appeals ruling in racial slur case

A state police trooper has asked Maryland's highest court to hear his appeal of last week's state Court of Special Appeals decision to punish him for using a racial epithet in front of a woman he stopped in February 1989 for driving with expired license plates.

Daniel Loftus, the attorney for Tfc. Dennis M. Hooper, said he filed the appeal shortly after the special appeals ruling last week. Trooper Hooper refused to comment on specifics of the case.

In 1991, 67-year-old Baltimore resident Patricia C. Blom accused the trooper of referring to his trooper partner, who is black, by a racial slur and saying he had to show him "that the law applies to whites as well as blacks."

Mrs. Blom, who is white, said the comment came in 1989, after she was stopped on the Baltimore Beltway and taken to the now-defunct Security barracks, where she received six traffic citations. Trooper Hooper's partner, Michael S. Wright, told police investigators that he overheard the slur.

Mr. Loftus said he would contend that the state police superintendent exceeded his authority by giving Trooper Hooper a three- to five-day unpaid suspension and deducting one day of leave after an internal investigation in 1991. The attorney also said it was unfair to punish the trooper then for a comment he allegedly uttered in 1989.

Should the appeals court grants Trooper Hooper's request for a hearing, it would add another twist in the three-year-old case.

The state police superintendent penalized Trooper Hooper after an internal investigation in 1991. But the trooper appealed that discipline to Carroll County Circuit Judge Francis Arnold, who reversed the superintendent's decision.

But in a ruling released last week, the Court of Special Appeals criticized Judge Arnold's ruling and backed the state police superintendent's earlier decision.

6 vying to rent old Shaffer home

The Carroll County Bureau of Purchasing opened bids yesterday from six people interested in renting the former Pauline Byers Shaffer home in the 200 block of Pleasant Valley Road in Westminster.

The county bought the two-story farmhouse and Mrs. Shaffer's 104-acre farm in December 1992 because the land was needed for expansion of the Carroll County Regional Airport.

The commissioners agreed to pay $850,000 for the property, or $165,000 more than the appraised price. Mrs. Shaffer and her family have since moved to another farm off Bachmans Valley Road.

The bids to rent the four-bedroom house ranged from $550 to $751 per month. The one-year lease with the county will begin Sept. 1.

The three highest bids were from Nicky Hackley of Westminster ($751), Tracy Lynn Christian of Owings Mills ($651) and Charles R. Green of Westminster ($627).

Thomas F. Crum, chief of the Bureau of Purchasing, said he will review the bids before awarding a lease.

Democratic Club to hear candidates

Democratic candidates for county commissioner, school board, state's attorney and other local offices will speak tonight at a meeting of the North Carroll Democratic Club.

Dinner is to be served at 6:30 p.m., and the meeting begin between 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., at the Long View Nursing Home, 3332 Main St., Manchester.

Information: 876-3825.

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