- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 9, 2006



Steele involvedin car crash

Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele was treated at a hospital last night after the sport utility vehicle in which he was riding collided with another vehicle in Hanover, state police said.

Mr. Steele, 47, was in a Chevrolet Suburban driven by Trooper 1st Class Joseph G. Messinese Jr., 32, and accompanied by Trooper 1st Class Tony C. Gaines, 46.

Both troopers are assigned to the Maryland State Police’s executive protection section.

The SUV was traveling west on Dorsey Road heading toward Ridge Road at about 6:20 p.m. A Chevrolet Cavalier driven by Brittany M. LaPorte, 19, of Baltimore, approached Dorsey Road on Ridge Road.

The vehicles entered the intersection at the same time, and the Cavalier struck the SUV on the passenger side, state police said.

Both vehicles had to be towed from the scene.

Paramedics took Mr. Steele and Troopers Messinese and Gaines to Baltimore Washington Medical Center in Glen Burnie, where all three were treated and released.

Miss LaPorte was not injured, police said.

A preliminary investigation cites “driver error” by Trooper Messinese, but state police said the probe is not complete.

Mr. Steele, a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, was “resting at home” last night and has canceled all his appointments for today, according to a statement from his office.


Blue crab numberslow but stable

Blue crabs in the Chesapeake Bay are holding steady, but fishing limits still are needed, a three-state commission concluded yesterday.

The Chesapeake Bay Commission, a study group set up by state lawmakers in Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania, estimated the blue crab population last year at 350 million.

That’s several million more crabs than a low point in 2001, but well below historical levels.

More than 800 million blue crabs were thought to be in the Bay in 1990.

Scientists who conducted the survey said it was good news that the blue crab population is stable, but water quality and habitat loss are still a concern.

The best news, they said, was that catch limits imposed by the states in 2002 are being followed.

Last year was the first in which fishermen caught fewer crabs than the limit.

Fishermen last year caught about 60 million pounds of crabs. The catch was about 37 percent of the crab population.

Before the limits, fishermen took about 72 percent of the Bay’s crabs in 1999.


Lawyer sentencedfor immigration fraud

A D.C. lawyer has been sentenced to 18 months in prison and two years probation for conspiring to commit immigration fraud by helping illegal aliens obtain green cards and gain employment in the United States.

Irwin Jay Fredman, 73, of Bethesda, admitted in December that he and others in his District-based firm — the Law Offices of I. Jay Fredman P.C. — prepared and submitted more than 100 fraudulent applications for alien employment certification to the Department of Labor and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Fredman has surrendered his law license as part of his plea agreement, officials with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Maryland said yesterday.

His firm was been placed on one year of probation and ordered to forfeit $200,000.

Fredman and attorney Sergei Danilov, 46, of McLean, were indicted on charges of immigration fraud along with two legal assistants — Elnur Veliev, 21, of Silver Spring, and Alp Canseven, 30, of the District.

Veliev pleaded guilty to the charges in September. Danilov also pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 46 months in prison in June.

Canseven is a fugitive.


Two workers hurtin chlorine leak

Emergency officials said two employees were injured during a chlorine leak at the Oakland Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

The leak occurred early Monday in an automated laundry system and forced the evacuation of 65 residents.

None of the residents were injured.

The two workers were taken to Garrett Memorial Hospital, and both have been released.

The chlorine fumes were confined to the basement. The residents were allowed to return after about three hours.


Ex-officer pleads guiltyin civil rights case

A former police officer has pleaded guilty to civil rights charges for making death threats against black schoolchildren and Hagerstown’s first black City Council member.

Jeffrey Shifler, 42, of Maugansville, entered the pleas yesterday at a hearing in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

He faces up to 20 years in prison and $5,000 in fines at his sentencing Dec. 8.

The former Hagerstown city police officer was working for the Boonsboro Police Department when he placed a call last November to the Washington County school board threatening to shoot black students at Hagerstown North and South high schools.

Both schools were locked down after the call.

In January, Shifler left a voice message at the home of Hagerstown City Council member Alesia Parson-McBean, claiming to be from the Ku Klux Klan and threatening to burn her house.

He pleaded guilty to interfering with attendance at public schools and interfering with housing.


Park worker struckby lightning

Fire officials in Carroll County said a worker at Patapsco State Park was struck by lightning during Monday night’s thunderstorms.

Sykesville Fire Chief Ed Ruch Jr. said the unidentified worker was alone outside of his pickup truck in the park’s McKeldin Area near Marriottsville when he was struck by the lightning shortly before 8 p.m.

The man walked to a nearby shelter, where he called for help.

He had what were thought to be non-life-threatening injuries and was treated at the University of Maryland Shock Trama Center in Baltimore.


Officer releasedin teen sex case

A U.S. Capitol Police officer was released from jail after being charged with child sexual abuse in a scandal involving a girl who said she was working as a prostitute for a Bowie High School football coach.

Sgt. Michael Malloy, 34, appeared Monday in D.C. Superior Court, where a judge set several conditions for his release, including that he be monitored by an electronic ankle bracelet and that he not have contact with children younger than 16.

Sgt. Malloy, who has pleaded not guilty to the charge, was not required to post bail.

He is accused of having videotaped sex at his home with a 15-year-old girl.

According to court documents, authorities think a liaison was arranged by his friend, Aaron J. Burroughs, a former Bowie High School assistant football coach.

Mr. Burroughs also has been charged with sexually abusing the girl.

Sgt. Malloy surrendered to authorities Friday and has been suspended from the Capitol Police force, where he has worked for 15 years.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office said prosecutors continue to investigate the case.



Assembly to meetin interim Capitol

The General Assembly will meet next winter for the second consecutive regular session in the Patrick Henry Building because of uncertainty over whether renovations on the 200-year-old Capitol will be finished.

The Department of General Services told legislative leaders yesterday that interim House and Senate chambers used this year would be used again beginning in January.

In April, lawmakers will return to the Capitol building, designed by Thomas Jefferson, for the one-day reconvened session to consider gubernatorial vetoes and amendments to legislation, said Richard Sliwoski, who is overseeing the renovation project.

Mr. Sliwoski said the decision was made yesterday after officials and architects assessed the timetable for finishing the $99 million foundation-to-roof overhaul and 19,000 square-foot underground expansion.

While the subterranean addition is proceeding on schedule, delays have resulted from the discovery of historically significant parts of the building and the meticulous care necessary in restoring them, Mr. Sliwoski said.


Authorities warnabout stolen receipts

Loudoun County authorities are issuing an identity-theft warning to shoppers who used a credit or debit card Saturday at a Linens ‘n Things store.

Sheriff’s department spokesman Kraig Troxell said a folder holding about 90 receipts was taken from the store about 8 p.m.

The receipts show the full account numbers and names of the cardholders.

Authorities said the information on the receipts could be used to create a fake card or to make fraudulent online purchases.

Shoppers are urged to contact their bank or credit-card company.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact investigators.


No sign of heroinin near-fatal overdose

Federal prosecutors said they have no evidence that the overdose of drugs ingested by a former WSLS-TV meteorologist in February included heroin.

Two urine samples taken Feb. 2 showed no heroin in Marc Lamarre’s system, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Donald R. Wolthuis during a hearing Monday in U.S. District Court.

Chad Rhudolph Honaker, 33, and Gilbert Dennis Hadden, 21, both pleaded guilty to conspiracy and distribution of heroin, but escaped charges that their heroin dealing caused serious bodily injury.

Each charge carries up to 20 years in prison.

Mr. Wolthuis said that Mr. Lamarre had a prescription for the antidepressant Xanax, and that on Feb. 2 a friend gave him a few prescription painkillers called Lortab at a party at Honaker’s duplex.

According to the prosecutor, Honaker said he later gave Mr. Lamarre two bags of heroin, but no one saw him take the drug.

Mr. Lamarre collapsed that night, and rescue crews gave him an antidote to an opiate overdose that restored his breathing.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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