Mike Miller charge is dropped

October 11, 2006|By Julie Bykowicz | Julie Bykowicz,Sun reporter

A second-degree assault charge against Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, filed last month by a Prince George's County developer, was dropped yesterday by a Baltimore prosecutor who said the allegation did not rise "to a criminal matter."

Developer Leo Bruso, a longtime Prince George's businessman and chief executive officer of Land & Commercial Inc., claimed in a charging document that Miller had placed an arm on his biceps and then punched him in the jaw at a Sept. 20 Prince George's County Council hearing.

Baltimore Assistant State's Attorney Gerard B. Volatile, who was assigned to investigate the matter for the Prince George's prosecutor, dropped the charge after a hearing in Prince George's District Court in Upper Marlboro.

The alleged altercation between the speaker and the developer happened amid discussion of a bill to sharply reduce development in rural areas.

"I did nothing to provoke this attack," Bruso wrote in the complaint. "Apparently, my political positions offend him. He has seen me at other political functions."

Miller said at the time that Bruso's allegations were untrue. "I haven't punched anybody since I was in junior high school."

Volatile interviewed more than a dozen witnesses, including the sheriff's deputy on duty for the council hearing, a state's attorney's office spokeswoman said yesterday.

"After interviewing numerous potential witnesses, including the witnesses closest to Mr. Bruso at the Council hearing, and persons in a position to have the best perspective to see what happened, I do not believe that this allegation rises to a criminal matter," Volatile said, according to a statement.

Prince George's County State's Attorney Glenn F. Ivey asked the Baltimore state's attorney's office to investigate the case to avoid any conflict of interest. Ivey said he has appeared on election slates with Miller and has received campaign contributions from Bruso.


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