- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 21, 2009



Deliberations heated in mayor’s trial

Jurors in the theft trial of Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon were dismissed for the weekend after sending a note to the judge saying deliberations were getting heated.

Jurors deliberated until about 3:45 p.m. Friday before sending the note saying “things are getting a little overheated” and asking to be dismissed. The jury received the case about midday Thursday.

Prosecutors say Ms. Dixon used gift cards intended for the needy on personal shopping sprees. The defense says the mayor’s then-boyfriend anonymously gave Ms. Dixon gift cards for her own use, and she thought gift cards from another developer came from her boyfriend. She’s also accused of taking cards from a holiday charity event run by the city.


Sergeant accused of misconduct

Baltimore police say a sergeant who authorized the use of the department’s marine unit as part of a Maryland lawmaker’s marriage proposal has been charged with misconduct.

On Aug. 7, police boarded a boat Delegate Jon Cardin and his fiancee were on with friends in the Inner Harbor and pretended to search for contraband until Mr. Cardin popped the question. A police helicopter flew overhead.

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Friday that an internal investigation into the event found that the sergeant, who was not identified, “improperly exercised his discretion” in the incident. He said the matter must go to a police trial board.

Mr. Cardin reimbursed police $300 for the incident, gave $1,000 to the department’s mounted unit and has repeatedly apologized.


Woman sentenced for stealing data

A woman who worked as a patient services coordinator for Johns Hopkins Medicine was sentenced Friday to 18 months in prison for stealing patient information.

Michelle Courtney Johnson, 31, of Baltimore, was also ordered at sentencing to pay more than $200,000 in restitution.

According to her plea agreement and court documents, from August 2005 to April 2007, Johnson provided a conspirator with names, Social Security numbers and other identifying information of more than 100 current and former patients of Johns Hopkins. That information was used to apply for credit.

Johnson kept some of the fraudulently ordered merchandise for herself, including a computer monitor, a cordless phone, and clothes for herself and her children.


Lawmakers promote training center site

Maryland lawmakers are promoting Frederick County as a possible site for a new federal training center.

State Delegate Paul S. Stull, Frederick Republican, recently asked Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, Maryland Democrat, to support building the Bureau of Diplomatic Security training center where the former Alcoa Eastalco Works aluminum plant once stood.

Miss Mikulski and fellow Maryland Democrat, Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin, sent letters on Monday to the State Department supporting the plan. They also support a Queen Anne’s County location.

The General Services Administration is reviewing possible locations for the center, which would include a driving course, shooting ranges and other features. The GSA also is looking at sites in West Virginia and Virginia.


Man auctioning bayside island

A West Ocean City electrician who needs money to keep his business going is auctioning a private bayside island that features a sandy beach and hunting lodge.

The 30-acre parcel, called South Hammocks, is comprised of two separately deeded isles in the Assawoman Bay wetlands.

Gary Frick bought the island in 2001 from another family.

Auctioneer Doug Marshall hopes the property will bring between $250,000 and $400,000. Tax records indicate both parcels are assessed at about $293,000.



Woman dies when own car runs her over

A 71-year-old woman died Friday after being run over by her own car in the driveway of her home.

Fairfax County police say the accident occurred about 5:30 a.m. The woman, Emma A. Cabrera of Annandale, was backing out of her driveway in her 2005 Honda Pilot.

At some point she got out of the car, and it rolled over her. Police said she died at the scene.

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