Transfers of four deputies put off until after hearing Case shifted from Carroll to Anne Arundel court

April 04, 1996|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

The Carroll County sheriff agreed yesterday not to transfer four sheriff's deputies who went to court Tuesday to block the shift -- at least until after a hearing in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court next week, the deputies' lawyer said.

The deputies originally had gone to Carroll County Circuit Court, filing papers Tuesday alleging that the impending transfers by Sheriff John H. Brown were punishment because they belong to the Carroll County Sheriffs Employees Association, a union begun in November.

But the three Carroll Circuit Court judges decided yesterdaynot to get in the middle of the dispute because they work closely with the sheriff's office and with the deputies.

Instead, Judges Raymond E. Beck Sr., Luke K. Burns Jr. and Francis M. Arnold asked the chief judge of the 5th Circuit Court of Maryland to reassign the case.

The chief judge -- Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Raymond G. Thieme Jr. -- agreed.

Judge Thieme sent the matter to Judge Eugene M. Lerner yesterday afternoon.

"The three of us told Judge Thieme that we did not feel it would be appropriate for any of us to hear this case," said Judge Beck, speaking for the three Carroll judges.

The sheriff's office has 100 employees eligible for union membership.

Twenty-seven have joined the union, which is affiliated with the International Union of Police Associations, AFL-CIO, said Aaron M. Nisenson, a Washington labor attorney representing the four deputies in the case.

Three of the deputies -- Deputy 1st Class Edward Smith, Sgt. Kevin O'Leary and Cpl. Neal Wuethrich -- were notified March 5 that they would be transferred to the Carroll County Detention Center, effective today.

They are balking at the transfers because they believe they are punishment and because the deputies are not certified by the state for work as correctional officers at the detention center.

The fourth, Sgt. Thomas Bader Jr., was ordered to transfer to road patrol duty, replacing Sergeant O'Leary.

Sheriff Brown has said the transfers are necessary because of budget cuts by the County Commissioners and have nothing to do with the deputies' union involvement.

Pub Date: 4/04/96

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