Regional Digest

REGIONAL DIGEST

December 12, 2003|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

In Caroline County

Fired courthouse workers sue state's attorney

DENTON - Two former courthouse workers filed suit here yesterday, alleging that Caroline County State's Attorney Jonathan G. Newell fired them because they campaigned for his rival's re-election.

In court papers filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, Margie Cooper, who had worked since 1986 as a victim-witness coordinator, and Susan Runnels, who was a District Court coordinator for two years, say they were replaced in January with workers who hadn't backed incumbent Robert J. Greenleaf. Staff members who were neutral or supported Newell kept their jobs, the lawsuit says.

Newell said he was within his rights to replace the two, who are seeking damages, back pay and reinstatement. "I had better people in mind for both positions. I hired them, and I have no regrets," he said.

In Harford County

Aberdeen officials get extension for water plan

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission gave Aberdeen officials, who are seeking permission to draw water from Deer Creek in Harford County, six more months yesterday to devise a plan for getting supplemental water when the river is too low to draw from.

The city of Aberdeen became Aberdeen Proving Ground's water supplier several years ago, after the Army privatized the utility. One permit would serve APG; the other would provide water for the municipality. One year ago, the commission gave the city 12 months to finalize a backup supply plan, which it has not done.

During its business meeting at Cecil Community College, the commission extended the backup water deadline until June 30. James Stuhltrager, a lawyer with the Mid-Atlantic Environmental Law Center in Wilmington, Del., who represents a group of Deer Creek landowners on the permit issue, called the allowance "ridiculous."

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