City / County Digest

CITY / COUNTY DIGEST

January 04, 2007

Dixon names 3 O'Malley figures to her Cabinet

City Council President Sheila Dixon announced yesterday that three current members of Mayor Martin O'Malley's administration will join her Cabinet when she becomes mayor this month.

Gladys B. Gaskins will remain as director of human resources and Elliot H. Schlanger will continue as chief information officer for the Mayor's Office of Information Technology. In addition, Dixon appointed Deborah Moore-Carter, a longtime deputy in the city's labor commission, as her labor commissioner.

Sean R. Malone, the current labor commissioner, is expected to move on to a position in Annapolis when O'Malley becomes governor this month.

Labor negotiations are expected to be one of the toughest challenges for Dixon this year as the contracts with firefighters and police officers expire in the summer, months before she has to seek election to a full term as mayor.

Doug Donovan

Howard County: Schools

$581 million budget proposed for 2008

Howard County school Superintendent Sydney L. Cousin will unveil tonight a $581 million operating budget proposal for the 2008 fiscal year, he announced yesterday.

Cousin's budget includes $10.5 million for 206 new teachers; a $9.9 million increase in health insurance for employees; $2.5 million to add full-day kindergarten at 11 remaining schools; and a 2 percent pay increase for bus drivers.

The proposal, which is a $30 million increase from the current operating budget, does not include money for an increase in employee salaries. The school system is currently involved in contract negotiations with four bargaining units.

Officials hope to work out the new salaries in time for the school board to approve the budget Feb. 27.

John-John Williams IV

Fraud allegation

Man accused of accounting scheme

A federal grand jury indictment unsealed yesterday accused 25-year-old John R. Ring Jr. of defrauding investors and partners at his former accounting firm in Columbia.

The four-count indictment charges Ring - who lived in Ellicott City and now lives in Bluffton, S.C. - with wire fraud and interstate transportation in execution and concealment of a fraud scheme.

According to the indictment, Ring was employed as an accountant at a Columbia, Md., firm. Court papers do not identify the firm where Ring's uncle is a partner. Ring is alleged to have defrauded several clients of the firm and others in 2005 and 2006 out of approximately $450,000, court papers show. Prosecutors accused him of faking documents to mask his fraudulent real estate deals. If convicted, Ring faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison on the wire fraud charge alone.

Ring had his initial appearance in South Carolina yesterday and was released on bond pending his arraignment in Maryland scheduled for next week.

Matthew Dolan

Arundel County: Linthicum

Woman dies in two-car wreck

A 30-year-old Columbia woman died late Tuesday in a two-car crash near the south side of Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, Maryland Transportation Authority Police said yesterday.

The driver, whose name was withheld pending notification of next of kin, was driving north on the WB&A Road about 11 p.m. when her car collided with a pickup truck heading east on Route 176, said police spokesman Cpl. Jonathan Green.

The pickup's driver, James Stanley Bardsley III, 18, of Hanover, was treated at Baltimore Washington Medical Center and released yesterday, hospital officials said.

The intersection has a traffic signal, though which vehicle had the right of way is not known, Green said.

Andrea F. Siegel

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