- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 24, 2001

FREDERICK, Md. (AP) A judge ordered yesterday that the business records of a convicted madam should be turned over to news media, but it stayed part of the order at the request of Frederick, Md. city officials.
The ruling marked a partial victory for the Associated Press and the Frederick News-Post in their fight to examine documents that reportedly identify local public figures as customers of an escort service.
Frederick County Circuit Judge Edward Dwyer, ruling on the plaintiff's summary judgment motion, said the city erred in denying the news organizations' request under Maryland's Public Information Act. The news organizations are seeking copies of documents Frederick city police seized from Angelika Potter and her Corporate Affair Referral Service.
Judge Dwyer also granted the city's motion to stay the order in respect to documents in the city's possession. That leaves some material in the court's possession open to inspection.
The records consist of shredded and intact paper documents and four computer disks that have been locked up since February under a court-sanctioned agreement.
However, the material may not be all of the records Frederick city police seized in a raid on Miss Potter's escort service in July 1999, plaintiffs' attorney Henry R. Abrams said.
The case is being closely watched because of allegations by Charlene Edmonds, president of the Frederick County chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, that police shielded city officials who used Miss Potter's call-girl business.
Miss Potter admitted running a "bawdy house" and was fined $100 in a November plea agreement that included the return of her computer and other property.
About a week later, the news organizations filed requests under Maryland's Public Information Act to examine the documents. The city refused and gave the documents to Miss Potter's lawyer, who shredded some of them.
Mayor James S. Grimes, who is up for re-election Nov. 6, has denied any knowledge of the contents of Miss Potter's records, which have become known locally as the "black book."


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