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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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NEWS
By COX NEWS SERVICE | May 23, 2003
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The world's largest cemetery chain, stained by allegations that it defiled the dead and exploited loved ones, agreed yesterday to pay penalties that could reach nearly $14 million. And the corporation, its top Florida executive, and the former manager of two South Florida cemeteries were charged with felonies. Yesterday's developments are the most drastic and ominous for Service Corporation International since attorneys announced in December 2001 that they were suing Houston-based SCI and its Menorah Gardens cemeteries in Palm Beach and Broward counties.
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.
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 Anica Butler and Anica Butler,SUN STAFF | June 9, 2005
An Essex man was placed on probation this week for harassing his former supervisor by signing her up for e-mail subscriptions, flooding her inbox with unwanted messages from dating services and job lines, the state attorney general's office said yesterday. Scott C. Huffines, 41, a former Web designer at Maryland Public Television, admitted signing his supervisor's e-mail address on Internet sites to annoy the woman with the resulting e-mails, according to the attorney general's office.
NEWS
By Justin Fenton and Justin Fenton,SUN REPORTER | November 16, 2007
A Baltimore City District Court judge and real estate developer is facing fines and court action from the state and Anne Arundel County after failing to clean up hundreds of tons of landfill rubble dumped on his property along the Patapsco River. The state attorney general's office yesterday filed a complaint seeking a $10,000 penalty against Judge Askew W. Gatewood Jr., who officials say deposited truckloads of drywall, cinderblocks, broken bathroom fixtures and other landfill rubble along the waterfront of his Riviera Beach house.
NEWS
BY A SUN STAFF WRITER | March 27, 2003
A Columbia martial arts school has been ordered to stop signing up new members or taking payments from old ones until it complies with state regulations governing Maryland health clubs, according to the state attorney general's office. Get Your Kicks LLC, also known as the Jhoon Rhee Institute, did not register with the attorney general's Consumer Protection Division as required under the health club law or post a bond that would ensure customers of a refund should the school close, according to a news release issued by the office Tuesday.
NEWS
By Frederick N. Rasmussen and Frederick N. Rasmussen,Sun reporter | April 10, 2008
Alexander Lacy Cummings, former longtime clerk of the Maryland Court of Appeals who retired last month because of illness, died Tuesday of prostate cancer at his Towson home. He was 66. Before Mr. Cummings became the 25th clerk of the Court of Appeals in 1983, he had served in the Maryland attorney general's office, which he joined in 1971, as an assistant attorney general. As chief deputy of the criminal appeals and correctional litigation division, Mr. Cummings argued between 700 and 800 criminal appeals before the U.S. Supreme Court, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the Maryland Court of Appeals and the state's Court of Special Appeals.
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
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.
BUSINESS
By Jonathan A. Azrael | October 6, 2002
Many readers have asked whether they can transfer real estate to their children without paying Maryland transfer and recordation taxes. These taxes can total 1 percent of the assessed full cash value of the property. Until recently, court clerks responsible for collecting state transfer and recordation taxes considered gifts of real property to children (and certain other family members) to be exempt from these taxes in accordance with longstanding statutory interpretation established by the attorney general.
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.
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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