Natural Resources Police chief steps down

He quits on day complaint against him is dismissed

December 19, 2003|By Ivan Penn and Laura Barnhardt | Ivan Penn and Laura Barnhardt,SUN STAFF

The chief of the Maryland Natural Resources Police resigned yesterday, as a judge dismissed a complaint alleging he had threatened violence and harassed and stalked another state employee.

Col. Scott A. Sewell, 53, of Baltimore County left his state job to "pursue other career opportunities," according to a news release issued by the Department of Natural Resources. No further details were given.

Shareese DeLeaver, a spokeswoman for Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., said the administration would not comment about Sewell's departure because it is a personnel matter.

DNR Secretary C. Ronald Franks named Lt. Col. Tammy Broll, a 25-year veteran who has been chief of field operations for the agency's police, acting superintendent until a permanent replacement is selected.

Broll is the third person to lead the Natural Resources Police since Ehrlich took office in January. Col. Douglas DeLeaver, the father of Ehrlich's spokeswoman, held the post for four months before asking to return to his old job as chief of the Maryland Transit Administration police force.

Sewell, a 20-year state trooper and five-year U.S. marshal for Maryland, replaced DeLeaver as head of the 290-member Natural Resources Police. Sewell left his job as manager of security for Visa International to take the post.

During Sewell's tenure, his agency handled the investigation into Maryland's first crossbow fatality. Ten-year-old Tyler Stephen Mattison of Perry Hall, who was hunting without a license, was killed in the accident on the Eastern Shore in October.

The investigation led to a reckless endangerment charge against Tyler's father, Christopher Stephen Mattison.

The announcement of Sewell's resignation came after a hearing yesterday regarding a harassment complaint filed by Olga Herrera, an employee with the Maryland Transit Administration. Herrera did not appear in Baltimore County District Court, and the case was dismissed.

Sewell declined to comment about the case after the hearing, and he did not return phone calls about his resignation.

On Dec. 11, Herrera obtained a restraining order against Sewell. She did not return phone calls yesterday.

Sewell was temporarily ordered not to contact her at home, work or her daughter's middle school in Perry Hall.

His attorney, Daniel E. Udoff, told the judge yesterday that Herrera had contacted Sewell, saying she did not wish to pursue the matter.

Udoff declined to comment about the case.

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