Suspended Baltimore officer could get back pay

Policeman pleaded guilty only to misdemeanor in insurance case

Board of Estimates to vote Wed. on pay

March 17, 2010|By Peter Hermann | peter.hermann@baltsun.com

A Baltimore police officer who was suspended without pay in September after being accused of falsely claiming his car had been stolen to obtain an insurance settlement could get more than $11,400 in back pay, despite pleading guilty to a charge in the case in November.

The Board of Estimates, the city's spending panel, is to vote today on whether to pay Officer Hikeen D. Crampton three months' salary. He is eligible because he pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor charge of attempted theft - and not to more serious felony charges. He was sentenced to two years' supervised probation and ordered to perform 100 hours of community service.

Prosecutors with the Maryland attorney general's office dropped felony charges of attempted theft and insurance fraud.

Under an agreement with the city police union, officers can be suspended without pay only for a felony criminal charge. His plea to a misdemeanor charge means the city must reimburse him for the time he was suspended without his salary, which amounts to $11,435.96, according to city police and union officials.

Anthony Guglielmi, the Police Department's chief spokesman, said Crampton remains suspended with pay pending the completion of an administrative review and possible internal trial board, after which he could be fired or face a lesser sanction.

Crampton, a Rosedale resident, was profiled on the front page of The Baltimore Sun in 2001. He had graduated from the Baltimore Police Academy and requested a patrol assignment in his old neighborhood, a notorious drug area. The youngest of 10 children who grew up in the Mosher and North Calhoun streets area, he had overcome growing up in an impoverished, crime-ridden block by befriending a tough police officer, Steven W. Sturm.

Sturm watched Crampton grow up, got to know his family and attended his graduation, boasting that the young officer would "make major before I make sergeant."

In 2005, while working plainclothes in the Western District, Crampton arrested one of the stars of the infamous "Stop Snitching" videos. In 2008, Baltimore County police honored Crampton for catching a suspect who had just held up an armored-car driver.

But last year, authorities charged him with fraudulently claiming that his Cadillac Escalade had been stolen. They said he had traded it in for another vehicle.

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