Two Baltimore police officers are under internal investigation for possibly committing perjury during a trial last year in which one of the officers was ultimately cleared of charges that he threatened a person with his gun outside a Canton bar.
The officers - Hadyn D. Gross and Anita C. Pitts - are being investigated by the department's Internal Investigative Division, police confirmed yesterday.
Matt Jablow, a police spokesman, said the investigation is administrative, not criminal.
The investigation of the officers is the latest hurdle for a department that has had to deal with highly publicized allegations of police corruption in recent weeks. Three members of a specialized police unit from the department's Southwestern District are facing rape charges in connection with a woman's claim that she was forced to have sex in exchange for her freedom.
Yesterday, police union officials cautioned that it is not uncommon for internal affairs to review criminal cases where officers were named as defendants or testified on behalf of other officers. Internal affairs detectives will typically monitor such trials, review transcripts and interview witnesses, union officials said.
Paul M. Blair Jr., president of the Fraternal Order of Police, said that as far as he knew, the two officers had not contacted the union for representation.
"If the officers come and ask the FOP for representation on departmental charges, we will provide lawyers for their administrative hearings," Blair said.
Gross was indicted in November 2004 on charges of first- and second-degree assault, and for using a handgun in the commission of a felony. The charges stemmed from a verbal confrontation between Gross, who was off duty, and another man Oct. 10, 2004, outside the Speakeasy bar in Canton after Gross and others got out of a car he parked.
In March, Gross was acquitted after a trial at which Pitts testified on his behalf.
After the acquittal, Gross had all of the court records expunged, and none were available for review yesterday.
But previous articles in The Sun about the case reported that Gross was having trouble parallel-parking in a spot near the bar when a passer-by called out something such as "Need some help with that?"
Prosecutors said in court that Gross got out of the car, yelled at the man and drew his gun.
But Gross, who joined the department in November 2000, told jurors that his gun remained in its holster at all times, and that he only lifted his shirt to show his badge to the man.
The substance of Pitt's testimony could not be determined yesterday.
Authorities also could not say whether the two officers had been suspended in connection with the investigation or whether the inquiry would affect any current criminal cases that the officers would have to testify in.
Pitts, who joined the force in May 2002, is an officer witness in a case in which a woman, Kia Mouzone, was charged with trying to kill another woman in a shooting last year, according to court records.