State won't charge city policeman

Colleagues accused detective of trying to plant narcotics

More inquiries remain

Officer has denied wrongdoing

cases he investigated dropped

April 19, 2000|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

Investigators from the state attorney general's office will not prosecute suspended Westminster police Officer Richard A. Ruby, who was accused by two fellow officers of trying to plant drugs on suspects last summer, authorities said.

The attorney general's investigation of Ruby is complete, the law enforcement authorities said yesterday. Ruby, 36, faces the result of an independent administrative inquiry by Maryland State Police at the request of Westminster Police Chief Roger Joneckis.

He also faces a review by Carroll State's Attorney Jerry F. Barnes, who has said he would conduct a review once the Maryland attorney general's office finished its inquiry to determine whether to seek a grand jury indictment against Ruby. Barnes would not comment yesterday.

From the beginning, Ruby has denied doing anything wrong. Three days after Ruby was suspended with pay, Barnes announced that more than 100 cases in which Ruby was a material witness for the state might have to be dropped.

Reached at his Pennsylvania home yesterday, Ruby declined to comment until he has had an opportunity to discuss the matter with Shawn Larson, his attorney.

Larson said the decision by the attorney general's office was not surprising.

"We have felt from the beginning that this was not a criminal matter," Larson said.

Two familiar with the Ruby inquiry believe the attorney general's office will stop short of saying it does not have sufficient evidence to seek an indictment.

But it will defer, the sources said, any action against Ruby to the Carroll state's attorney.

Ruby was accused during unrelated incidents July 17 of producing a small plastic bag containing what fellow officers suspected was narcotics.

In two incidents looked at by investigators, Ruby, a detective assigned to drug investigations, was never accused of planting drugs on suspects, and no one was arrested in either incident.

However, in separate written complaints -- dated Dec. 13 and Jan. 5, -- Ruby's colleagues alleged situations in which Ruby was ready to plant drugs in a car occupied by two women in one case and on a male suspect in another.

After Joneckis requested an independent investigation in January and his request was forwarded to the attorney general's office, Carolyn Henneman, an assistant attorney general, said Barnes was notified of the potential impact the allegations against Ruby would have on criminal cases awaiting trial.

Barnes said then that Ruby was a potential material witness in more than 100 cases dating from July and that the investigation might have tainted them.

Yesterday, Barnes said more than a dozen drug cases involving Ruby as a material witness for the state have been dismissed since February.

"We're looking at each case as it comes up, and there may be more that have to be dismissed," Barnes said.

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