- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 8, 2003


Former Montgomery County Police Chief Charles A. Moose will be able to write his book about last year’s sniper investigation under an agreement reached yesterday with the county Ethics Commission, his attorney said.

Mr. Moose dropped his federal lawsuit and an appeal of the ethics panel ruling blocking him from writing the book about the search for the Washington-area sniper, said Ronald Karp, Mr. Moose’s attorney.

In return, he promised to give the county $4,250 he was paid for the movie rights to his story, Mr. Karp said.

Ethics Commission Chairman Elizabeth Kellar was not immediately available for comment, nor was County Attorney Judd Garrett.

Mr. Karp said the deal ends the legal dispute over Mr. Moose’s book, which will detail his role as head of the multijurisdictional sniper investigation. The book is due out in September.

The Ethics Commission ruled in March that Mr. Moose could not write the book, saying he would unfairly profit from his office.

Concerned that he could face disciplinary action or criminal prosecution, Mr. Moose filed the federal lawsuit May 14 in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt against the ethics panel and Miss Kellar.

Mr. Karp said at the time that the lawsuit sought to protect Mr. Moose’s right of free speech. He said members of the ethics panel had threatened Mr. Moose, 49, with jail and other sanctions.

Mr. Moose quit last month, saying he thought he had to choose between his job and the book, which is co-authored by Charles Fleming.

“He is free to write the book, he is free to pursue the movie,” Mr. Karp said yesterday.

After Mr. Moose resigned, the Ethics Commission continued to probe whether it had oversight of Mr. Moose’s book and his profits since it was based on his experiences during his work as the county’s police chief. The commission met two weeks ago to discuss the issue but had not announced any decision.

Mr. Moose remains on active duty with a military police detachment of the D.C. Air National Guard and was not available for comment. Mr. Moose’s wife, Sandy, declined to comment, referring all questions to Mr. Karp.

Mr. Moose signed a book deal in January with publisher E.P. Dutton for a reported $170,000 advance for “Three Weeks in October: The Manhunt for the Serial Sniper.”

Sniper suspects John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo have been linked to 20 shootings, including 13 deaths, in Virginia, Maryland, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Washington. Both face the death penalty.

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