State Digest


July 29, 2006

Maryland: Early voting

Case transferred to Anne Arundel

A Queen Anne's County Circuit judge transferred the only remaining legal challenge to the state's early-voting law to Anne Arundel County Circuit Court yesterday.

The lawsuit, filed by Christopher R. West and M. Albert Figinski, two Baltimore attorneys with close ties to Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., alleges that the General Assembly lacks constitutional authority to alter election dates. Enacting early voting, they argue, requires an amendment to the state Constitution.

Queen Anne's Circuit Judge Thomas G. Ross ordered the venue change because the suit's defendants, including Linda H. Lamone, the state's elections administrator, have their offices in Anne Arundel, according to Ross' memorandum.

The case has been assigned to Anne Arundel Circuit Judge Ronald A. Silkworth and is scheduled for Aug. 8, according to West, the former legal counsel for the Maryland Republican Party. Figinski is married to Ehrlich's budget director, Cecilia Januszkiewicz.

Melissa Harris

Anne Arundel

Snowboarder pleads guilty in Wyo. death

A Maryland teen has filed a guilty plea in Wyoming to a charge of criminally negligent homicide for a February 2005 incident in which he was snowboarding and collided with a skier, killing her.

Greg Doda, 18, of Crownsville filed his plea Tuesday without appearing in District Court. Judge Timothy C. Day was on leave and had not reviewed the filing, which he could reject.

If Day accepts the plea, he'll schedule a sentencing date. Doda could be sentenced to up to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine.

On Feb. 24, 2005, Doda - then 16 - was snowboarding down Laramie Bowl at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort when he collided with Heather Donahue, 29, of Shrewsbury, Mass. An investigation determined Doda was going at least 47 mph.

Donahue was not wearing a helmet and died the next day from head injuries.

associated press

Allegany County

Residents demand homegrown chief

Residents calling themselves "Local Yokels for Ogle" say Cumberland should drop its national search for a new police chief and appoint a homegrown candidate, acting Chief Kevin Ogle, to the post.

The critics are protesting the nearly $1,000 cost of a broad search and the politics some see in the selection process.

William A. Taccino, a mayoral candidate in the Western Maryland city of 21,000, walked around City Hall one day this week wearing sandwich board reading, "Why waste tax dollars to find a new police chief? Local yokels for Ogle. We want our city back."

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