Baltimore spending panel asked to approve back pay for suspended officer

Officer in second case could receive $105,000 after suspension

September 22, 2014|By Yvonne Wenger | The Baltimore Sun

Baltimore's spending panel is asked Wednesday to approve about $4,700 in back pay for a city police sergeant who was suspended without pay after allegedly pointing a gun at her 20-year-old son's head.

The Board of Estimates will vote whether to pay back salary to Robin Blackmon while she was suspended for about a month in 2013, under an agreement with the Police Department and the union. The board also is asked to provide back pay of about $105,000 to Carlos M. Vila, a former police sergeant accused of secretly recording a conversation with a judge.

Blackmon had faced a first-degree assault charge for the alleged argument with her adult son, but when her son changed his story, the charge was reduced to carrying a weapon while under the influence of alcohol. That charge was moved to an inactive docket in November.

She pleaded not guilty to a related driving under the influence charge and was sentenced to probation before judgment, which allows her to avoid conviction.

Police records show that she allegedly got into an argument with her son in the early morning hours of June 17, 2013, left her Catonsville home after consuming alcohol and was arrested nearby on a residential street with "the odor of an alcohol beverage emanating from her person." Her police service gun was recovered from her purse on the passenger seat in her car, according to police.

Blackmon has denied to police that she pulled her gun on her son.

The city's online salary database shows Blackmon, who was hired in 1988, earned about $78,500 during the fiscal year that ended in June.

Vila was suspended without pay from August 2012 until February when city prosecutors announced they would drop all charges against him after he agreed to step down from his position and not seek future employment in law enforcement. A jury trial on the matter resulted in a mistrial.

Vila was charged with misconduct in office and intercepting electronic communications for recording a conversation with a district judge in April 2012. He asked the judge during the exchange to sign a warrant to search a car where a shooting victim had been found.

He has testified that he made the recording to protect himself, and did not believe he had acted improperly.

The day Vila's case was dropped marked his 20th anniversary of with the Police Department, making him eligible for retirement and to collect a pension, the police union has said.

Attempts to reach Blackmon and Vila Monday were unsuccessful.

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