Protective order is extended in dispute

Fiat keeps lawyer away from pair at Board of Elections

visiting judge due


A temporary protective order keeping a local attorney away from two Board of Elections employees who claim he has appeared aggressive and angry toward them was extended until Tuesday in an Ellicott City District Court hearing Wednesday.

Judge Alice P. Clark extended the temporary order against William H. Morstein until a visiting judge can hear the women's complaints. Morstein has denied the allegations and did not appear for yesterday's hearing.

"Judges of this court have decided not to hear this," Clark said, apparently because recently appointed District Court Judge Mary Reese was the county elections board attorney for several years.

The workers claim Morstein, whose wife is a member of the board, appeared angry and frightened them on several occasions when he visited board offices after a June 13 after-hours board meeting he attended with his wife, Brenda Morstein.

That night the board met in closed session, but board administrator Betty Nordaas, the board administrator, raised questions about William Morstein's whereabouts in the closed office, where confidential information about voters is kept. Since then, relations between the Morsteins and other board members and employees have worsened.

Board Chairman Guy Harriman told Clark he would seek an order to bar Morstein from the entire nonpublic area of the board's Ellicott City office.

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