- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Montgomery County Police Chief Charles A. Moose is facing problems caused by his fame from leading the manhunt for two sniper suspects in the case that terrorized the region for three weeks in the fall. He also faces duty in the war on Iraq.
He has also come under severe criticism from the Fraternal Order of Police, which says Chief Moose refused to support pay raises for county police while his annual salary was raised to $160,619, the highest for a chief in Maryland.
Chief Moose has been off duty for more than a week because the Air National Guard called him to active duty in the war on Iraq. He is a major at Andrews Air Force Base and commander of the 113th Security Forces Squadron. Assistant Chief Bill O'Toole has taken over the chief's duties.
On Thursday the county's Ethics Commission ruled against an exemption for Chief Moose's book and movie deal about the nationwide manhunt for the snipers, who killed 10 persons and wounded three in the Washington area.
Montgomery County policy prohibits an employee from using the "prestige of office for private gain."
There have been suggestions that the Ethics Commission's decision would be appealed, or that Chief Moose would retire or take a job elsewhere. There were also rumors that he applied to be chief of the Prince George's County Police a couple months ago, but he never answered questions about that job.
"He's considering his options as to what he wants to do," said Ronald Karp, his attorney.
At least three other books are being written about the sniper manhunt.
Chief Moose has not said how much he would be paid for the book, titled "Three Weeks in October: The Manhunt for the D.C. Sniper," and a movie, both of which would also relate his life as a police officer.
But Chief Moose has said he would share his profits from those business ventures with St. Luke's House Inc. in Bethesda, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Alexandria, and the fund for families of victims of the snipers.
County Executive Douglas M. Duncan has been supportive of Chief Moose as an author and subject of a movie.
Almost unrelenting praise has been showered upon Chief Moose since October, but FOP President Walt Bader dispatched a stinging six-page letter dated Feb. 24 after an arbitrator ruled for a pay raise of just 2 percent for police officers up through the rank of sergeant.
"No police chief in the past 21 years has so vigorously opposed us as did Charles Moose and his staff this year," the letter reads. "This year, coming right out of the sniper case when it appeared that he was in an excellent position to work with us to collect our just rewards for our collective efforts, Moose did not attend a single full negotiations session. He made brief appearances at mediation only to oppose us."
Yesterday, a spokesman for Council President Mike Subin said Mr. Subin could not comment on the situation because of the possibility of an appeal and because, as a lawyer, Mr. Subin associates with Mr. Karp.

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