City employee gets probation for drinking

Public works supervisor was involved in accident

June 14, 2000|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

A Baltimore Department of Public Works supervisor was sentenced to probation yesterday and fined $200 after he pleaded guilty to being drunk when he got into an accident while driving a city-owned vehicle in November.

Charles Frederick Raynor, 51, was given probation before judgment after a District Court hearing, despite objections by an assistant state's attorney who noted that two people were injured in the Nov. 26 crash.

The sentence imposed by District Judge William H. Murphy Sr. means that Raynor's record could be wiped clean if he stays out of trouble for a year. Probation before judgment is not considered a conviction under Maryland law.

As part of a plea bargain, Raynor paid $1,000 to Gerald P. Smooth, owner of the 1994 Toyota Tercel that Raynor's car collided with, to cover his insurance deductible. The Tercel was totaled.

Smooth's wife, Carla Freeman, who also was in the car, said the sentence was too lenient. She said she missed six days of work because of her injuries and court dates. "If he was a regular person, he would have gotten more than PBJ," she said.

Raynor and his attorney, James Gitomer, declined to comment after the hearing. Raynor has worked for Public Works for 28 years. He once was in charge of the parking enforcement division, responsible for parking tickets.

He is now chief of the communication division, supervising complaint lines and dispatching crews to handle such problems as clogged sewers, broken street lights and flooded streets. His salary is $56,000 a year, and he answers to the director.

In court, Raynor stipulated that the police accident report was accurate. He was driving a 1993 Dodge and turned left in the middle of the 6500 block of Holabird Ave. and into opposing traffic.

Smooth struck Raynor's car broadside. Officer Amy Robertson said she smelled a strong odor of alcohol on Raynor's breath and said he failed several sobriety tests. He declined to take a breath test and was arrested.

Smooth and his wife testified yesterday that they were injured, but declined treatment by paramedics. They said they drove to a hospital where they were treated and released.

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