ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Court of Special Appeals has upheld the firing of a Baltimore police officer after another court sided with the officer and ordered for him to get his job back.
Before he was fired, the former officer, Andre Robinson, had a history of conduct violations that included being in his patrol car with an unauthorized woman, The Baltimore Sun reported Monday.
The court’s ruling said Robinson also returned an unidentified pill to a suspected drug dealer after the charges against the person were dropped.
An administrative trial board recommended in 2018 that Robinson lose 15 days of leave time, but former Police Commissioner Gary Tuggle fired the officer citing his past as well as present disciplinary record.
The officer appealed, arguing that the decision was in violation of the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights, a state law that grants police due process rights and shields them from needless investigations.
In his argument, Robinson said the commissioner increased the penalty outside of the 30 day parameter set up by the law and did not provide written notice that the officer’s prior disciplinary records would be part of the decision.
The officer believed the discipline would be limited to the incident with the pill, Marc Seldin Rosen, Robinson’s attorney, told the newspaper.
The Baltimore Circuit Court sided with Robinson, but that decision was reversed by the Appeals judges.
The court said Tuggle’s decision fell within the 30 days period. The judges also noted that Robinson should not be taken by surprise that his prior records would be mentioned.
Rosen said the court’s decision “completely goes against the letter and intent” of the state law.
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