Digest

October 04, 2007

County will pay salary of suspended fire officer

Under an agreement reached yesterday, Baltimore County will begin paying the salary of a fire lieutenant who has been suspended without pay since July, while waiting for the county's chief administrative officer to determine whether the lieutenant should return to duty.

William J. Gilbert, a 24-year veteran of the department, filed a lawsuit Tuesday in federal court against the county, claiming that his right to due process was violated and alleging that the fire chief had a personal vendetta against him.

Gilbert also sought a court order allowing him to return to work with pay -- a request denied by U.S. District Court Judge Andre M. Davis, because Baltimore County attorneys agreed during a conference call with the judge that Gilbert would be returned to the county payroll.

An administrative board hearing scheduled for yesterday was postponed until County Administrative Officer Fred J. Homan decides whether to uphold the decision last month by a board to dismiss charges that Gilbert had improperly failed to report a work-related injury, said Gilbert's attorney, John M. Singleton.

Elise Armacost, a spokesman for the Fire Department, said the agency was aware of the ruling but will not comment on personnel and legal matters.

Laura Barnhardt

Recreation

State approves $3 million for facilities

The state Board of Public Works approved yesterday more than $3 million in Program Open Space money for recreation facilities in Baltimore County, officials said.

The funding approved was: $1,705,000 to construct artificial turf fields at Meadowood Regional Park in Brooklandville, at Northwest Regional Park in Owings Mills and at the Essex campus of the Community College of Baltimore Count; $559,400 to upgrade athletic-field lighting at County Home Park in Cockeysville, at General John Stricker Middle School Recreation Center in Dundalk and at Arbutus Middle School Recreation Center in Arbutus; $442,884 to renovate ball fields at Double Rock Park in Parkville; $250,000 to build stadium seating at Milford Mill Academy Recreation Center and at Randallstown High School Recreation Center; and $225,000 to design Jacksonville Park, a new 30-acre community park with athletic fields, playgrounds, picnic areas and a community center.

More than $10 million was approved for improvements at 35 recreational facilities in 13 counties.

Perry Hall

Man faces federal child-porn charges

A Perry Hall man arrested Friday by Baltimore County police on sex charges involving minors and who was released on $150,000 bond was arrested at his home yesterday evening by FBI agents on similar federal charges, said a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office.

Stephen Michael Gayer, 37, of the 100 block of Bourbon Court was being held in federal custody pending an arraignment, said Marcia Murphy, the spokeswoman.

Murphy said Gayer is charged federally with possession of child pornography and production of child pornography.

If convicted, Gayer could be sentenced to between 15 and 30 years in prison, Murphy said.

Gayer also is charged by county police with five counts of sexual abuse of a minor, third-degree sex offense, two counts of fourth-degree sex offense and possession of child pornography.

While searching Gayer's home last week, police found photographs of a nude teenage girl in sexual poses. Police said nude photos of two other teenage girls were taken in Gayer's basement.

Planning Board

Meeting on capital budget to be held

The county Planning Board has scheduled a meeting for citizens' comments on the new six-year capital budget for 6 p.m. today.

The capital budget covers fiscal years 2009 to 2014 and includes improvements such as roads, sidewalks, storm drainage, public buildings and parks. The plan is reviewed annually.

The meeting will be held in Room 407 of the Circuit Court Building, 401 Bosley Ave. in Towson.

Information: 410-887-3521, or www.baltimorecounty md.gov/Agencies/planning/public_facilities_planning/ cip.html.

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