Doctor faces stalking charges

Psychiatrist who worked at Perkins accused of pursuing colleague

2nd arrest since last month

March 27, 2001|By Tim Craig | Tim Craig,SUN STAFF

A former Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center psychiatrist is being held in the Baltimore County Detention Center on charges he was stalking an assistant state attorney general.

Dr. Hanif Gopalani, 48, was arrested March 19 on charges that he violated a protective order filed by Susan Steinberg, the daughter of former Lt. Gov. Melvin A. Steinberg.

Gopalani, who has resigned from Clifton T. Perkins, is being held on $100,000 bail. He has been charged with harassment, violating a protective order and trespassing, court documents show.

According to the documents, Baltimore County police arrested Gopalani after discovering him near Steinberg's home in the first block of Stone Hollow Court. Earlier in the day, Steinberg's mother called police because Gopalani was ringing the doorbell of their home, records show.

Steinberg declined to comment.

The arrest marked the second time in two months that Gopalani has been charged with stalking Steinberg, who had been a colleague of Gopalani's at the hospital, according to court documents.

Gopalani was charged Feb. 9 with stalking, harassment and violation of a protective order. He was out on bail when he was arrested last week, court documents show.

He had attempted to contact Steinberg 31 times since he was released on bail, according to court documents.

Steinberg requested the restraining order Jan. 26 after repeated phone calls and visits from Gopalani, court documents show

The matter began in August when Steinberg refused to go on a date with Gopalani, according to court documents. At the time, Gopalani and Steinberg, an assistant attorney general for the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, worked together, the documents show.

The Jessup hospital evaluates individuals who claim mental illness as a criminal defense. It also houses criminal defendants who are found not competent to stand trial.

Gopalani contacted Steinberg, whose father was lieutenant governor for Gov. William Donald Schaefer, at least 22 times between the time she filed the protective order and his arrest in February, court documents show.

Gopalani was suspended from his job twice for his contact with Steinberg and later resigned after "charges for removal" were filed against him, according to court documents.

Hospital officials said Gopalani had been a psychiatrist at the hospital, where he evaluated patients.

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