Week In Review

May 20, 2007

Annapolis

Contractor dispute could go to court

A dispute between Annapolis officials and a contractor renovating and expanding the Police Department could be headed for legal action.

A week after officials halted work on the $8.8 million project, consultants hired by the city are ripping out portions of the ceiling and walls in search of incomplete or faulty construction. The contractor says the city is nitpicking and is behind on payments.

Anne Arundel section, Friday

Anne Arundel

New trial denied for Navy athlete

A military judge declined yesterday to grant a new trial to a former Navy football player who was convicted of sexual assault. A juror had said that his peers on the seven-member panel of Naval Academy officers had a "lack of impartiality" during deliberations.

Maj. Robb Mansfield, an electrical engineering instructor, testified during a hearing at the Washington Navy Yard Tuesday that he came forward two days after the conclusion of Kenny Ray Morrison's trial last month with concerns about "the method in which we attacked, or undertook the deliberations."

Under questioning by Col. Stephen Day, the Marine Corps judge who oversaw the court-martial, Mansfield said he wanted to discuss "a jury irregularity."

"I felt there was a certain amount of a lack of impartiality, which was given by you in your instructions," he said. Day did not delve further into Mansfield's perception, citing military law that forbids discussing deliberations except in extraordinary circumstances.

Maryland section, Wednesday

Fort Meade

Defense agency opens Meade center

The Defense Information Systems Agency, one of the largest federal commands moving to Maryland as part of a national military realignment, announced Tuesday that it had opened a telecommuting center at Fort Meade, the first step toward moving its 4,300 workers to the Army post.

The agency is the first to establish a foothold in Maryland among those transferring to the state as part of the base realignment and closure process known as BRAC, which is expected to bring tens of thousands of defense jobs to Maryland over the next five years.

"BRAC has been this intangible thing to a lot of us," Fort Meade's commander, Col. Kenneth O. McCreedy, said after a ceremony attended by leaders from the Baltimore-Washington region, including Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown. "It didn't have any form yet. With DISA planting a flag, it makes BRAC real."

The center at the Army post, which opened in January, allows agency personnel to work there rather than commute to the agency's three sites in Northern Virginia. Defense officials said they are hopeful that the center, the third for agency employees on the East Coast, will help in its efforts to build a Maryland work force as the agency moves to Fort Meade by 2011.

Maryland section, Wednesday

Glen Burnie

Man gets 18 months in sex-abuse case

Two weeks before facing sentencing in a Baltimore County sexual abuse case, a former Glen Burnie High School band director was ordered yesterday to spend 18 months in the Anne Arundel County jail for having sexual relations with a student.

Jeffrey S. Thompson, 38, of Severn apologized for the encounters in 2003 and 2004 at the school and a park but denied sexual exploitation, saying that he and the girl, starting when she was 16, had a relationship in which "my emotions took precedence over my common sense."

In a statement read to Judge Joseph P. Manck, the teenager said she has been ostracized by people loyal to Thompson since filing the charges against him. In March, he pleaded guilty to sexual abuse of a minor.

Maryland section, Wednesday

Annapolis

Marine known as `Lion' killed in Iraq

An Annapolis-area Marine known as the "Lion of Fallujah" was killed May 11 in Iraq while commanding a raid on insurgent forces in Baghdad, military officials said.

Maj. Douglas A. Zembiec, a 1995 Naval Academy graduate who was awarded the Bronze Star with a V for valor for his actions in Fallujah in 2004 and also received a Purple Heart, was buried Wednesday with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.

An unabashed warrior who considered it an honor to lead his Marines into combat, Major Zembiec, 34, had a reputation for inspiring his men with a selfless, lead-from-the-front philosophy.

"He was the Marine that every Marine wanted to be next to, fighting the enemy," said Sgt. Maj. William Skiles, Major Zembiec's first sergeant in Fallujah.

Maryland section, Tuesday

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