Former Maryland public defender chief loses challenge to firing

Court of Appeals rules on procedural grounds

May 22, 2012|By Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun

A former head of the state's public defender office has lost a challenge to her 2009 firing, as Maryland's highest court ruled against her Tuesday.

Nancy S. Forster was fired in a dispute with the agency's governing board over operation of the office that represents poor people facing criminal charges. The Court of Appeals did not rule on her contention that she was wrongly fired because the changes the board sought were illegal and would harm clients.

A seven-judge majority ruled against her for procedural reasons. In a separate opinion, two other judges wrote that they agreed with the outcome, but for other reasons.

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