Amprey's wife will not face trial on battery charge

January 11, 1995|By Jay Apperson and Gary Gately | Jay Apperson and Gary Gately,Sun Staff Writers

The wife of the Baltimore schools superintendent avoided trial on a charge of assaulting a city school employee after prosecutors agreed yesterday not to pursue the case.

Baltimore State's Attorney Stuart O. Simms said all parties in the case approved of placing it on the inactive docket. Freda J. Amprey, wife of Superintendent Walter G. Amprey and head of the school system's Employee Assistance and Wellness program, had been charged in a criminal summons with common law battery in an alleged tug of war over a handful of paperwork.

The Nov. 16 incident left school social worker Deborah L. Disney complaining of a sprained wrist, and Mrs. Amprey complaining that she was the victim of unfounded allegations stemming from a scheme to discredit her.

Mrs. Disney, Mrs. Amprey and Dr. Amprey would not comment yesterday. Mrs. Amprey's lawyer, Paul Mark Sandler, said: "I'm pleased with the result, because I think everyone exercised mature judgment and clear thinking, which today seems to be a rarity."

Mr. Sandler and Mr. Simms said that both women signed waivers releasing each other from any civil liability in the matter and agreed not to discuss the incident publicly.

Under some circumstances, cases placed on the inactive docket can be revived, but Mr. Simms said yesterday: "As far as the state is concerned, this closes the matter."

The battery charge carries a maximum of 20 years in prison.

Mrs. Disney was temporarily working with Mrs. Amprey, who was her supervisor and a coordinator in the wellness program. In a statement to police, Mrs. Disney said her wrist was injured when Mrs. Amprey yanked some personal papers from her. Mrs. Amprey later suggested Mrs. Disney made the allegations because she was unhappy about her working hours.

Police told Mrs. Disney to go to a court commissioner to file a complaint because no police officer witnessed the incident, and there were no visible signs of an injury. A Southwestern District Court commissioner issued the summons after hearing Mrs. Disney's allegations.

Mrs. Disney now works in the suspension services office at school headquarters.

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