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By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | June 1, 2011
Two Baltimore police officers convicted of misconduct for stranding two 15-year-old boys far from their homes received 18-month suspended jail terms and probation Wednesday, with a judge refusing prosecutors' request to strip them of their badges. Detectives Tyrone Francis and Milton Smith asserted their innocence before Baltimore Circuit Judge Timothy J. Doory handed down the sentence. "I still believe the only thing I'm actually guilty of is doing my job," Smith said. The father of one of the victims had asked that Doory send the men to jail.
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NEWS
By Liz Bowie and By Liz Bowie | October 7, 2014
The head of the Baltimore County school administrators union said the majority of misconduct cases against administrators can "be resolved more expeditiously. " Speaking at the county school board meeting on Tuesday night, William Lawrence, executive director of the Council of Administrative and Supervisory Employees, suggested that the union and the county work together on resolving cases more quickly. Currently, administrators and teachers can spend weeks and months investigating a teacher for misconduct, sometimes while they sit in a warehouse.
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NEWS
By Pamela Wood, The Baltimore Sun | December 24, 2013
Former Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold will have the appeal of his misconduct convictions heard by the Maryland Court of Special Appeals on Feb. 5. Leopold, a Republican, was convicted in January of two counts of misconduct in office related to directing county employees to carry out personal tasks. He resigned from office, served 30 days in jail and performed community service. He was replaced as county executive by Laura Neuman. Leopold is seeking to have his convictions overturned, arguing the charge of misconduct is vague and that his actions didn't amount to criminal behavior.
NEWS
October 6, 2014
The decision last week by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Police Commissioner Anthony Batts to call in federal investigators to probe allegations of excessive use of force and other misconduct by Baltimore police is as embarrassing as it was unavoidable. No city attempting to polish its image as an attractive place to live and work wants to admit having a problem with police brutality it can't handle. But since a six-month investigation by The Sun uncovered evidence of a dysfunctional department seemingly inimical to reform, it's been apparent that the city needs help.
NEWS
By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | May 2, 2011
A city jury found two city police officers guilty of misconduct Monday but cleared them of kidnapping charges in the first case tried by Baltimore State's Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein. After nearly two weeks of testimony, jurors took about three hours to reach the verdict. Detectives Tyrone S. Francis and Milton Smith III were convicted of two counts each of misconduct — a misdemeanor — for picking up two 15-year-olds from West Baltimore in May 2009 and leaving them stranded far from their homes.
NEWS
By Justin Fenton and Yeganeh June Torbati, The Baltimore Sun | April 12, 2011
Baltimore State's Attorney Gregg Bernstein will try his first case as the city's top prosecutor this week when three city officers go on trial for misconduct allegations, his office confirmed. Officers Tyrone S. Francis, Milton G. Smith III and Gregory Hellen are accused of picking up a teenager in West Baltimore in May 2009 and dropping him off in Patapsco Valley State Park in Howard County, without shoes or a cellphone. The officers were indicted last March on charges of kidnapping, false imprisonment, second-degree assault and misconduct in office, among other counts.
NEWS
By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | July 17, 2013
A former Baltimore County police officer will serve no jail time after pleading guilty to allegations that he filmed himself engaging in sex acts and neglected calls while on duty. Aaron Z. Pross, 29, of Newark, Del., received an 18-month suspended sentence and three years probation Wednesday in Baltimore County Circuit Court. Pross was assigned to the Pikesville Precinct before he resigned last month. He pleaded guilty to one count of misconduct in office. According to the state's attorney's office, Pross took more than 120 images and 20 videos engaging in sexual acts with himself, including one in which he masturbated inside his patrol car while reports of "possible guns involved," were audible over a police radio.
NEWS
By Ann E. Marimow, The Washington Post | October 11, 2012
One day after Del. Tiffany Alston was sentenced in a misconduct case, the Maryland General Assembly's lawyer says she is now suspended from the legislature without pay or benefits. State prosecutors said Alston's sentencing Tuesday automatically triggered her removal from office, but the first-term Prince George's Democrat and her attorneys disagreed. In a letter to House Speaker Michael E. Busch on Wednesday, the General Assembly's lawyer sought to clarify Alston's status. "At the moment that sentence was pronounced, the constitutional provision was triggered and Delegate Alston was suspended from her office," wrote Daniel A. Friedman, counsel to the General Assembly.
NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel and Matthew Hay Brown, The Baltimore Sun | January 17, 2013
Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold has waived his right to a jury in his criminal misconduct trial, clearing the way for attorneys to make opening statements Friday in a case that now will be heard by a single judge. The surprise move came during the second day of jury selection in the trial of Leopold, who faces charges of fraud and misconduct for allegedly using his taxpayer-funded police detail to run personal and political errands. Neither Leopold nor his attorneys explained the reason for the change of course or its timing.
NEWS
By Arthur Hirsch, The Baltimore Sun | January 8, 2013
The Carroll County Sheriff's Department's former head of criminal investigations pleaded guilty Tuesday morning to a misdemeanor charge of misconduct in office, and has been sentenced to a suspended one-year jail term, three years of probation, a fine and community service. Nicholas Plazio, who resigned as a major in the Sheriff's Department last week after the charge was brought by the Maryland state prosecutor, entered the plea in Circuit Court before Judge Michael Galloway. Plazio was accused of giving false statements to the county State's Attorney and the court last year and in 2011 in connection with his role in the investigation of a homicide that took place in Hampstead in 2010.
NEWS
October 4, 2014
State lawmakers and educators are right to be concerned about how much time it presently takes to clear or dismiss teachers accused of misconduct. When teachers are yanked out of their classrooms for months or even years while allegations of wrongdoing are investigated, both they and their students suffer from the absence. Maryland's school districts need to expedite the process by which such cases are resolved, but they must do so in a way that is fair to teachers while protecting the vulnerable young people entrusted to their care.
NEWS
Mark Puente and The Baltimore Sun | October 4, 2014
While hospitalized with a fractured ankle and broken jaw, John Bonkowski reached for his smartphone to find details about the man who beat him outside a parking garage near the Inner Harbor. He typed "Officer Michael McSpadden" into Google. The results stunned Bonkowski. He found references showing that the longtime Baltimore officer had been accused in three separate civil lawsuits: of kicking and stomping a woman, of breaking a man's wrist and of beating a man unconscious with a police baton.
NEWS
Mark Puente and The Baltimore Sun | October 3, 2014
The U.S. Department of Justice will conduct a civil rights investigation into allegations of brutality and misconduct by the Baltimore Police Department, Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts announced Friday. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Batts requested the probe after a six-month investigation by The Baltimore Sun found city residents have suffered battered faces and broken bones during arrests . The city has paid $5.7 million in court judgments and settlements in 102 cases since 2011, and nearly all of the people who received payouts were cleared of criminal charges, according to the investigation published this week.
NEWS
By Bernard C. "Jack" Young | October 3, 2014
As I view the constant protesting by residents of Ferguson, Mo., nearly two months after a police officer fatally shot an unarmed teenager, I know that it's only a matter of time before the streets of Baltimore are filled with the same sustained clarion call for justice that has rocked the once inconspicuous Midwestern city. On the surface, the city of Baltimore and Ferguson are worlds apart. With a population nearly 30 times larger than Ferguson, Baltimore is a major American city and cultural hub. From Francis Scott Key to H.L. Mencken to Thurgood Marshall, Baltimore has produced more than its fair share of American icons.
NEWS
By Liz Bowie and The Baltimore Sun | September 29, 2014
While Baltimore County officials were deciding whether Michael Williams was fit to continue teaching, he was assigned to a dusty, windowless room at a Pulaski Highway warehouse that held old textbooks, surplus computers and other materials. He, along with a dozen or so employees, sat at a long table reading detective novels and playing Trivial Pursuit. Sometimes they would fall asleep until supervisors, watching from a security camera, came in to wake them up. Williams, who had been accused of touching a girl on the cheek with a yardstick, was paid his full salary plus benefits for more than a year to show up at the warehouse when school was in session.
NEWS
Mark Puente and The Baltimore Sun | September 20, 2014
Even as the Baltimore Police Department faces criticism over its handling of an officer caught on video punching a suspect, an outside audit of the Internal Affairs Division has raised questions about the thoroughness and fairness of the agency's misconduct investigations. A Baltimore lawyer who is a national expert on police discipline discovered "many flaws" within the Internal Affairs Division, including detectives who lack proper training, work under decades-old processes and are often pulled from their duties for other tasks.
NEWS
By Scott Calvert and Scott Calvert,SUN STAFF | August 11, 2003
A former Baltimore police officer who was the subject of a high-profile misconduct case was found dead Saturday at Andrews Air Force Base while on duty with the Maryland Army National Guard. Sgt. Brian L. Sewell, 34, was found dead in his room after failing to report for duty, said Maj. Charles Kohler, a National Guard spokesman. A medical officer from Malcolm Grow Medical Center on the base outside Washington pronounced Sewell dead at 9:27 p.m. No cause was given yesterday. Kohler said Sewell's death is being investigated as an accident, adding, "To my knowledge nothing has been ruled out."
NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun | June 11, 2013
An appeals court has chosen January to hear the challenge by former Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold to his convictions for criminal misconduct in office. The 70-year-old Pasadena Republican was found guilty in January of having public employees do his political and personal tasks, including draining a urinary catheter bag he used after back surgery in 2010, and he resigned from office. His sentence included a month in jail, a month of home detention and 400 hours of community service.
NEWS
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | August 4, 2014
Hearings began Monday on claims by BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport's former acting fire chief that he was unfairly terminated earlier this year after raising concerns about racial bias within the department. Gregory Lawrence, who is black, said he believes the Maryland Aviation Administration terminated him in March without due process after he raised concerns about an all-white recruit class. He said he feels the decision also was in retaliation for a previous discrimination case he brought against the department more than a decade ago. "I want to go back to work," Lawrence said Monday morning, prior to the start of several days of hearings scheduled in the case at the Maryland Office of Administrative Hearings in Hunt Valley.
NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | July 16, 2014
Baltimore officials agreed Wednesday to settle two lawsuits involving alleged police misconduct, costing the city a combined $88,500. The city's spending panel, the Board of Estimates, approved a settlement for $62,000 after a group of men say they were falsely arrested and subject to an unwarranted use of force by a police officer inside a city parking garage in June 2012. The board also approved the settlement of a case for $26,500 involving a husband and wife and their friend who alleged that they were wrongly arrested around 1:30 a.m. on Oct. 27, 2012 while a Baltimore club was closing.
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