City / County Digest

CITY / COUNTY DIGEST

January 23, 2007

Woman with ties to Dixon pleads not guilty in theft case

Mildred E. Boyer, a small-business owner with ties to Mayor Sheila Dixon, pleaded not guilty in Baltimore Circuit Court yesterday to charges of theft, lying on loan documents and filing false tax returns.

Boyer was composed during the brief hearing but declined to speak with reporters afterward. She was accompanied by defense lawyers Lawrence Fletcher-Hill and Neal M. Janey. Neither lawyer commented on the case. A trial date was set for April 6.

A grand jury indicted Boyer last month after a nearly 10-month state investigation into her company, a minority contracting firm called Utech. The investigation was spurred by articles in The Sun showing that Dixon, when she was City Council president, had been an advocated for the company at a council hearing and did not reveal that her sister worked for the firm.

The indictment against Boyer did not implicate Dixon's sister or Dixon, who also has been cleared by the city's ethics board.

Boyer is charged with six counts of making and issuing false and counterfeit orders for money, a felony that carries a minimum of two years in prison, and one count of theft. In addition, she has been charged with two misdemeanor counts of filing false state tax returns and with lying on a car loan application.

Last year, the city stripped Utech of its eligibility to perform work for the city as a minority subcontractor because officials found that it had misrepresented its finances and capabilities and did not perform most of its own work.

Annie Linskey

Baltimore: City Hall

Dixon taps McCoach as planning director

Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon named Douglas McCoach director of the city's Planning Department and announced four other key positions in her administration yesterday.

McCoach, vice chairman of Baltimore's Planning Commission, replaces Otis Rolley III, who was named Dixon's chief of staff this year. McCoach, an architect, is an associate vice president with Baltimore's RTKL Associates.

Karen L. Sitnick will remain director of the Mayor's Office of Employment Development, a Dixon spokesman said, and Tony Bridges, who served in Martin O'Malley's mayoral administration, will lead the Office of Neighborhood and Constituent Services.

Bridges will have two deputies - Loretta Brown, who will oversee constituent services, and Angela Frazier, who will oversee neighborhoods.

Jill Rosen and John Fritze

Aquarium

Volunteers sought as exhibit guides

The National Aquarium in Baltimore is looking for volunteers to serve as exhibit guides and in other information-related jobs. The next training class is scheduled for Feb. 24. Volunteers work one 3 1/2 -hour shift each week. Parking is free. Applicants must be age 18 or older. For more information: 410-576- 3886.

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