Patient information theft investigated
Federal authorities are investigating the theft of patient information, possibly by a former Johns Hopkins Hospital employee, as part of a scheme to make fraudulent Virginia driver's licenses. The employee, who worked in the patient registration area, would have had access to information such as names, addresses, parents' names and Social Security numbers as part of her job duties, according to a letter the hospital sent to the identity theft unit of the state attorney general's office last month. The former employee, who was not named in the letter, is expected to be indicted, although it is not certain whether she was the source of the theft, according to the hospital. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Secret Service field office in Baltimore said the investigation is continuing. Law enforcement agencies have identified 46 victims of identity theft, according to the letter.
- Liz F. Kay
D.C. sniper Muhammad's lawyers argue for new trial
Attorneys for convicted sniper John Allen Muhammad returned to court Tuesday for a third round of appeals, telling a federal appeals panel that Muhammad should not have been allowed to represent himself for two days at the start of his trial. The sniper slayings that terrified the Washington region in 2002 provided the backdrop for the argument before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. It focused on whether Muhammad deserves a new trial because his attorneys should have told the judge there was evidence he was mentally incompetent to represent himself. Muhammad was convicted in Virginia Beach in 2003 and sentenced to death for killing Dean H. Meyers near Manassas in October 2002. Jon Sheldon, an appellate lawyer for Muhammad, argued Tuesday that his trial attorneys failed to share with the judge extensive information about his inability to be his own lawyer. Senior Virginia Assistant Attorney General Katherine B. Burnett told the court that Muhammad's self-representation was "a very foolish and unwise decision. But he wasn't incompetent."
- The Washington Post
City garbage proposal increases weekly trash limit
Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon's plan to reduce the city's garbage pickup to once a week passed through a City Council committee Tuesday afternoon with a few key changes. Residents will be allowed to discard 96 gallons of refuse each week, an increase from Dixon's proposed 64 gallons per week. Also, residents can put out their trash starting at 6 p.m. the evening before their scheduled pickup day. Should the legislation pass the full City Council, the shift to once-a-week pickups would start in July.
- Annie Linskey