Two officers, union sue Chief Robey They seek to prevent punishment for shirt sales

September 11, 1997|By Caitlin Francke | Caitlin Francke,SUN STAFF

Two Howard County police officers -- joined by their union -- are suing Police Chief James N. Robey, seeking to prevent their being punished for selling T-shirts at a Columbia concert pavilion while off-duty.

Officers Jerry B. Schlossnagle and Glen M. Weir and the Howard County Police Officers Associations Inc. filed suit in Howard County Circuit Court against Robey and the county government about 10 days ago.

The primary issue is whether the police officers' work at the Merriweather Post Pavilion involves providing security that would require approval from the department.

"We see [these jobs] as T-shirt sales," said Timothy J. McCrone, the union's attorney.

But he did add that part of the officers' duties include shutting down and seizing T-shirts from unauthorized dealers at the concert. The police officers do not wear uniforms.

County attorneys could not be reached for comment late yesterday. No response to the suit has been filed in court.

McCrone said there is also a question of the legality of the regulations prohibiting unapproved off-duty jobs in the security field because those regulations have never been approved by the Howard County Council.

McCrone said the punishment the officers face is minimal, ranging from a letter of reprimand to loss of some leave time.

"We're suing to prevent them from enforcing a general order that is not properly adopted," McCrone said.

Pub Date: 9/11/97

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