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By Julie Bykowicz and Julie Bykowicz,SUN STAFF | August 12, 2004
In his two decades with the Maryland attorney general's office, Gary E. Bair has played a key role in the legal maneuverings that sent Maryland prisoners from death row to the execution chamber. He even stood before the nation's highest court to oppose an argument meant to save a convicted killer's life. But Bair is stepping down as solicitor general this month to become partners with Fred Warren Bennett, a well-known capital defense attorney who represented two of the last three Maryland inmates put to death.
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BUSINESS
By Andrea K. Walker and Andrea K. Walker,andrea.walker@baltsun.com | July 17, 2009
Maryland Dish Network subscribers will share $325,000 in restitution under a settlement concerning the satellite television company's marketing and billing practices. Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, through his Consumer Protection division, joined 45 other states and Washington in suing the company for not adequately disclosing all the terms of its contract, making telemarketing calls to consumers who requested not to get them, failing to disclose the availability of rebates, credits and free offers and not telling consumers they were purchasing used equipment.
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BUSINESS
By Alec Matthew Klein and Alec Matthew Klein,SUN STAFF | December 14, 1995
Hamilton A. Schmidt sat quietly in Baltimore County Circuit Court yesterday, recalling a day over 20 years ago when he waited for hours in another courtroom, defended himself over a traffic ticket and won."It was the principle," he said.Moments after that reverie, Schmidt, 41, pleaded guilty to the fraudulent misappropriation of $702,393.32 and the theft of $215,000 from Charter Group Inc., the company he helped build into one of Maryland's largest independent insurance agencies -- and the company he ultimately destroyed.
BUSINESS
By Hanah Cho and Hanah Cho,hanah.cho@baltsun.com | June 7, 2009
You find the new home of your dreams. But what happens when the builder does not deliver as promised? As if buying a home is not stressful enough, what are your rights and recourse? How do you protect your deposit? Marylanders buy more than 10,000 new homes each year, according to the attorney general's office, and a new-home purchase is protected by state law. Here are questions to consider: How do I find a reputable builder? For starters, make sure your builder is registered. All homebuilders operating in Maryland must register with the attorney general's Home Builder Registration Unit, except for firms that build exclusively in Montgomery County.
NEWS
By Anica Butler and Anica Butler,SUN REPORTER | October 26, 2006
Anne Arundel County prosecutors have referred a criminal complaint against state Del. Tony McConkey to the Maryland attorney general's office, noting a conflict of interest. The county prosecutor's wife is opposing McConkey in the Nov. 7 election. The Anne Arundel County state's attorney's office initially received a complaint about McConkey from Teresa Milligan, 42, of Pasadena. She filed a civil lawsuit Monday against McConkey, accusing the Severna Park Republican of committing foreclosure rescue fraud and tricking her into signing her townhouse over to him. He is trying to evict Milligan and her family, and a hearing in that matter is scheduled for Nov. 2. Once the state's attorney's office received Milligan's complaint, it referred it to the Anne Arundel County Police Department, which sent it back to the state's attorney's office yesterday, according to spokeswoman Kristin Riggin.
NEWS
By Allison Klein and Allison Klein,SUN STAFF | July 6, 2004
Baltimore prosecutors are quitting at the fastest rate in recent memory, as low salaries and high stress take their toll on the morale of an agency that for years has been criticized as a weak link in the city's criminal justice system. Lawyers and judges say the result is a revolving door that undermines the office's effectiveness in bringing cases before juries. "The ability of a prosecutor is directly proportional to the kind of justice you get in the courtroom," said Salvatore Fili, chief of the drug unit, who left two weeks ago after 20 years there.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins and Jamie Smith Hopkins,SUN STAFF | July 7, 2005
Fifteen homebuilders have paid $23,000 in fines for allegedly failing to provide protection for customer deposits or register with the state, the Maryland attorney general's office said yesterday. The builders - mostly small businesses, and about half of them new to the industry or to the state - were individually hit with penalties ranging from $500 to $2,500. None of the builders was accused of failing to perform work or similar wrongdoing; the problems were administrative. But Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr. said the issues can't be ignored - especially as new homes become increasingly expensive and more builders enter the market to get a piece of the pie. "It's a consumer protection law, clearly," he said.
NEWS
By Laura Barnhardt and Laura Barnhardt,SUN STAFF | January 2, 2005
An Elkton homebuilder's license and registration have been revoked for failing to complete work, the Maryland attorney general's office said Thursday. Hutton Brothers Building and Improving of Elkton failed to pay $12,000 in claims covered by the Maryland Home Improvement Commission's Guaranty Fund, said Jeston Hamer, an assistant attorney general. As a result, the Elkton building and improvement company's license was suspended and the Consumer Protection Division of the attorney general's office revoked its registration.
NEWS
By John A. Morris and John A. Morris,Staff writer | December 13, 1991
Federal judges will decide today if the Maryland legislature acted illegally this fall when it divvied up Anne Arundel County among four congressional districts.Attorney John Greiber, who represents county political leaders and several residents, will ask a three-judge panel in Baltimore to throw out the new districts in favor of a map that leaves Anne Arundel intact.The state Attorney General's Office will argue that the General Assembly acted properly when it approved a redistricting plan Oct. 22 and ask the court to dismiss the county's bipartisan suit, said Assistant Attorney General Evelyn Cannon.
NEWS
By Laura Vozzella and Laura Vozzella,SUN STAFF | January 31, 2001
The state attorney general's office is trying to determine if a new Maryland law forced the Columbia Association to change the way it assesses property, or if the change was unnecessary and illegal. The office is formulating a legal opinion on the matter at the request of Del. Shane Pendergrass, a Democrat who lives in Columbia. The Columbia Council voted Dec. 21 to assess property at 100 percent of valuation rather than 50 percent, saying the change was needed to comply with the Truth in Taxation law. The change does not affect the amount Columbia residents will be charged on their next assessment bills because the council also voted to cut the lien rate in half.
NEWS
March 26, 2009
City faces federal suit over group homes The U.S. Department of Justice says it will file a civil rights suit against Baltimore in early April, claiming the City Council approval process for starting group homes is discriminatory, according to a letter sent to the city Wednesday. Federal attorneys have, for years, been threatening such a lawsuit. But they were supportive of legislation introduced by Mayor Sheila Dixon that removed provisions allowing the Cty Council to veto those facilities.
BUSINESS
By Randy Lewis and Randy Lewis,Los Angeles Times | February 24, 2009
The New Jersey attorney general's office has reached a settlement with Ticketmaster over the recent sale of tickets to a Bruce Springsteen concert there, calling for major changes in how Ticketmaster does business. The settlement - announced yesterday, a day before hearings open in Washington on the proposed merger between Ticketmaster and Live Nation - requires Ticketmaster to reform several of its business practices, in particular with regard to its ticket resale operation, TicketsNow.
NEWS
December 1, 2008
A brief article Friday about a corruption case failed to note that the University of Maryland, Baltimore County alerted the attorney general's office after finding discrepancies in construction projects and cooperated in the resulting investigation.
NEWS
By Dennis M. Sweeney | July 21, 2008
Maryland State Police didn't do their homework before they started spying on peace activists and anti-death-penalty groups. If the amateur spymasters had read up on their Maryland law enforcement history before launching this escapade, they might have had a good laugh and learned a thing or two. They would have discovered that similar surveillance efforts went awry for a state law enforcement unit that included troopers more than a half-century ago....
NEWS
By Nicole Fuller and Nicole Fuller,Sun reporter | July 16, 2008
A hotly disputed fee imposed on Annapolis property owners for maintenance of city sidewalks was unlawfully levied, according to an opinion issued by the Maryland attorney general's office. The fee is essentially a new tax because it is mandatory and assessed even on those who have no sidewalks, said William R. Varga, an assistant attorney general. Municipalities cannot levy new taxes without state lawmakers' approval. "The city lacks the authority to impose the charge unless the General Assembly was to enact enabling legislation applicable to all municipal corporations throughout the state," he wrote Monday.
NEWS
By Gadi Dechter | June 25, 2008
A former concrete contractor from Cockeysville has been sentenced to five years in jail, all suspended, for a kickback scheme involving University of Maryland, Baltimore County construction projects, the attorney general's office said yesterday. In 2006, Patrick R. Sisk pleaded guilty in Baltimore County Circuit Court to theft, conspiracy to commit theft and bribery. He admitted that between 1999 and 2003, he participated in a scheme with a UMBC construction manager to create a steady stream of illegal cash generated by false and inflated invoices to the university.
NEWS
By Tim Craig and Tim Craig,SUN STAFF | November 3, 2002
Facing criticism over their Election Day plans, Democratic Party officials said yesterday they would consider paying workers to get out the vote in a strictly nonpartisan manner. Democratic officials had initially hoped to pay more than 1,000 campaign workers between $75 and $100 Tuesday to help get voters to the polls in support of Democrats. But those plans have been challenged by Republican gubernatorial candidate Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. because it is illegal under Maryland law to pay people to work on Election Day on behalf of a political party or candidate.
NEWS
By Ryan Davis and Ryan Davis,SUN STAFF | June 12, 2003
The Anne Arundel County Ethics Commission cannot restrict House Speaker Michael E. Busch's actions as a state lawmaker, the state attorney general's office wrote in a letter released yesterday. "It is my view that it would be inappropriate for the County Ethics Commission to attempt to limit those matters on which you could vote as a legislator," Assistant Attorney General Kathryn M. Rowe wrote to Busch, who is a county employee. The letter throws significant legal weight behind the Democrat's position that he can continue to vote on issues affecting the Anne Arundel government, for which he is assistant to the director of recreation and parks.
NEWS
By Gadi Dechter and Gadi Dechter,SUN REPORTER | June 3, 2008
The state Department of Legislative Services received yesterday a wide-ranging grand jury subpoena from federal prosecutors requesting "all documents relating to the office" of Sen. Ulysses Currie, a leading Prince George's County Democrat who is under investigation by the FBI in connection with his previously undisclosed consulting work for a regional grocery chain. Karl S. Aro, executive director of the legislature's administrative office, said lawyers for the General Assembly spent yesterday in discussions with the U.S. attorney's office to try to "figure out exactly what it is they would like to see" so that the order's June 11 deadline can be met. The subpoena - which asks for the budget committee chairman's personal and professional records and computers, along with all records kept by the committee staff - offered little insight into the nature of the FBI investigation, though it appears that the 70-year-old politician is the intended target.
NEWS
By Liz F. Kay .. and Liz F. Kay ..,Sun reporter | April 30, 2008
Personal information of about 56,000 Maryland consumers was compromised when several former employees of LendingTree.com, an online mortgage lending exchange, gave three mortgage brokers unauthorized access to company databases, according to state records. Charlotte, N.C.-based LendingTree's internal security discovered the breach in early February, according to an April 17 letter sent to the Maryland attorney general's office. An investigation revealed that the former employees divulged passwords for company databases containing consumer information.
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