- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 8, 2008

MARYLAND

TOWSON

Harford mom names baby for Obama girls

A Harford County mother is naming her newborn baby after President-elect Barack Obama’s daughters.

Lakisha Brown of Joppa gave birth to a girl, Sasha Malia Ann Taylor, at 12:36 a.m. Wednesday at Greater Baltimore Medical Center.

She had just finished voting — for Mr. Obama, of course — Tuesday morning when her water broke, GBMC spokesman Michael Schwartzberg said.

Hours later, while she was in labor at the hospital, the mother-to-be watched Mr. Obama’s victory speech. She said she was so struck by the love Mr. Obama showed to his daughters that she decided to name her baby after the girls.

On Tuesday evening, a Florida couple, Patrick and Sasha Hall Fisher, named their newborn son Sanjae Obama after the next president.

ANNAPOLIS

Ehrlich firing probe could be reopened

Maryland’s highest court ruled a legislative committee had the power to subpoena two former officials in the administration of Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. who had refused to testify about the firings of state employees, a move that could reopen the probe.

The committee issued a report in 2006 without answers from Craig Chesek and Gregory Maddalone. Delegate Adrienne Jones, Baltimore County Democrat who was co-chairman of the committee, said after Thursday’s ruling by the Court of Appeals that the committee will reconvene to get the answers and complete its report.

In 2005, Maryland’s Democrat-controlled legislature probed allegations that Mr. Ehrlich, Maryland’s first Republican governor in 36 years, placed officials in state agencies to search out people who could be fired and replaced with employees loyal to him.

The Special Committee on State Employee Rights concluded that some workers were improperly fired “based on political considerations.”

Dan Friedman, the attorney general’s designated counsel to the General Assembly, said the committee would vote on whether to convene and again subpoena the two men and, if justified, would issue a supplement to the final report.

ROCKVILLE

Developer settles illegal contracts case

A Rockville developer who forced customers to pay more for building their homes or threatened to stop building will pay restitution.

Edward Smart, who owned Smart Development/Premiere Homes, will pay $925,000 in restitution under a settlement, Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler said. The developer must pay $75,000 in penalties and legal costs incurred by the Maryland Division of Consumer Protection.

Mr. Gansler said the developer was charged in August for using illegal clauses in contracts. The clause allowed the company to terminate contracts when home prices rose.

Then, Mr. Gansler said, the company required customers to pay more to build the home. The division said Mr. Smart repeatedly used this termination clause to stop building.

Premiere Homes denied breaking any laws.

VIRGINIA

VIRGINIA BEACH

Drake concedes; Goode does not

Rep. Thelma Drake has conceded the race for the 2nd Congressional District to political newcomer Glenn C. Nye III.

The Republican congresswoman congratulated Mr. Nye, a 34-year-old former Foreign Service officer, in a statement Thursday night after Virginia Beach elections officials released results of tallying absentee ballots. The vote count showed Mr. Nye with 8,000 more votes than Mrs. Drake.

Mrs. Drake also joined a federal lawsuit filed by the campaign of Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain against Virginia elections officials, which asks the court to order that late-arriving absentee ballots from overseas be counted.

The case was expected to be heard Monday. A Drake spokesman said the congresswoman joined the suit more out of principle than in hopes of accruing more votes.

Meanwhile, Democrat Tom Perriello claimed victory in the 5th District race, but incumbent Republican Rep. Virgil H. Goode Jr. called the declaration “premature.”

Mr. Perriello held a 745-vote lead in the race Friday afternoon, according to preliminary results from the Virginia State Board of Elections. But the Goode campaign said there have been errors in the reporting process in the district that have cast doubt on the vote totals.

The race will determine which party holds the majority among Virginia’s House delegation, but also still could see a recount.

RICHMOND

Voter registration drives investigated

The State Board of Elections is investigating third-party voter drives after election officials across Virginia raised concerns that such groups may have failed to deliver registration forms to the board.

Potential voters may have lost the chance to cast their ballots on Tuesday because their registrations were not turned in on time, board officials said Friday.

They are asking Virginia residents who registered in third-party drives but were turned away at the polls to send copies of their registration receipts to the board’s Richmond headquarters and to safeguard the original receipts.

Copies should be sent to the SBE at 200 N. Ninth St., Richmond, VA 23219-3485. For more information, contact 804/864-8910 or [email protected]

RICHMOND

Man sentenced for killing bondsman

A Virginia man will spend 40 years in prison for killing an unarmed bail bondsman who was trying to arrest him.

Richmond Circuit Judge Beverly W. Snukals sentenced James E. Carr Friday to 37 years for first-degree murder and three years for felonious use of a firearm. The sentences will run consecutive to a 10-year term on a prior robbery conviction.

Carr, 20, shot James W. Woolfolk III, 39, three times from behind as Mr. Woolfolk attempted to arrest him for skipping court on a felony drug charge, prosecutors said.

The fatal shooting occurred March 6 at a house in South Richmond.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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