4th Circuit rules that Baltimore Co. owes employees back pay for higher pension rates

Baltimore County owes more than a decade of back pay to older employees who contributed to the county pension plan at a higher rate, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.

The county has been in litigation with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for years over the higher contribution rates for employees 40 and older. The EEOC first issued notices of charges of age discrimination in 1999 and 2000 but did not pursue the case until 2006, when it issued a letter determining discrimination occurred and filed suit the following year.

A U.S. District Judge granted partial summary judgment on liability in 2012, which the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed in 2014.

The parties and unions involved approved a plan for gradual equalization of contribution rates in 2016, but the EEOC pursued retroactive and prospective damages for the unequal rates paid until they were equalized. A federal judge denied that request in 2016, and the EEOC appealed.

The 4th Circuit held in a published per curium opinion Wednesday that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act requires mandatory back pay upon a finding of liability because the law incorporates the remedy provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

“Because Congress adopted the enforcement procedures and remedies of the FLSA into the ADEA, we construe the ADEA consistent with the cited statutory language in and judicial interpretations of the FLSA,” the three-judge panel concluded. “Back pay is, and was at the time Congress passed the ADEA, a mandatory legal remedy under the FLSA.”

A spokesperson for the EEOC declined to comment Wednesday.

The county began a three-year plan to phase in an age-neutral contribution rate on July 1, 2016, pursuant to the consent decree.

An attorney for the county estimated the requested back pay would cost the county $19 million in 2016 court filings, but the EEOC told the appeals court it would not pursue an award for the years between the initial notice of charges in 1999 and 2000 and the letter of determination in 2006, acknowledging the delay was unreasonable.

The appellate panel determined the delay did not change their conclusion interpreting the statute but the EEOC’s decision not to seek monetary relief for excessive deductions before 2006 meant the court did not need to reach the issue of laches, which was raised by the county.

A spokeswoman for Baltimore County said County Executive Don Mohler has asked the county attorney to review the decision and determine the next steps. No updated liability estimate was available.

The case has been remanded to U.S. District Court for a determination of the amount of back pay owed.

The case is Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Baltimore County et al., No. 16-2216.


Towson University Officer Amy Caprio Scholarship

Towson University, along with their non-profit Towson University Foundation, has been gracious enough to initiate a memorial scholarship in Officer Amy Caprio’s name.  The scholarship will be available to Towson University students who are first responders or have first responders in their immediate family.  For those of you who do not know, Amy met her husband, Tim, at Towson University and they both graduated in May 2010 with degrees in Exercise Science.

As this is a new scholarship, the TU Foundation is seeking donations to jump start the memorial scholarship.  I am proud to also announce that the Blue Valor Foundation has graciously volunteered their hard work and dedication to assist with this goal.

Link to scholarship: https://towsonuniversity.givingfuel.com/amy-sorrells-caprio-scholarship-endowment

Please feel free to pass this along to anyone who may be interested in donating.  There are many different options (i.e. monthly payments, bulk donation, etc.) on the website to choose from.

Also keep in mind, both the Blue Valor Foundation and the TU Foundation are both non-profit 501(c)3 corporations and all donations are tax-deductible.

As always, I cannot thank everyone enough for the support that the Sorrells/Caprio family have felt from their “blue family”.  Please continue to support each other and stay safe out there.

Death Notification: Nicholas G. Palmere

The Lodge regrets to inform you of the following.
On 9/12/18 Nicholas G. Palmere BPD retired, uncle of Treasurer Phil Palmere and Brother Nick Palmere, passed away at age 88.
Viewing at Schimunek Funeral Home 9705 Belair Road, 21236 Sunday 2-5 & 7-9 PM.

The Lodge extends its condolences to the Palmere family.

Death Notification: Richard Johns

The Lodge regrets to announce the passing of Richard Johns, the father of Cpl Jimmy Johns.  Mr Johns passed away peacefully back home in NY State yesterday. Mr Richard Johns was a Korean War veteran assigned to the infantry of the U.S. Army.

There is no memorial service plans at the request of Mr Johns.

Please keep the family in your thoughts and prayers.


Death Notification: Tyrelle Brown

The Lodge regrets to announce the passing of Tyrelle Brown, the brother of Sergeant Cynthia Jackson-Booth.

Family and friends will be received at the Wylie Funeral Home, 701 N. Mount St, Baltimore MD 21217 on Thursday September 13th from 5 PM to 8 PM.

Funeral services will be private.

Death Notification: Paul Bouthner

The Lodge regrets to announce the death of Paul Bouthner, Honorary Member of the FOP and husband of long time retired FOP Office Assistant Juanita Bouthner, on August 20, 2018 after a long illness.
There are no services planned at this time. Expressions of sympathy and condolences may be sent to Juanita Bouthner at 17 Ebbing Court, Baltimore, Md. 21221.
In lieu of flowers, please send monetary donations to the Baltimore County Police Memorial Fund at 9304 Harford Road, Baltimore, MD 21234 (in memory of Paul Bouthner, Sr.).
The Lodge extends its deepest sympathy to the Bouthner Family.

Death Notification: Bernard Balog

The Lodge regrets to announce the death of Mr, Bernard Balog, father of Captain Michael Balog of PC3.  Mr. Bernard Balog is a retired Maryland State Police Corporal, retiring in 1986.  After retiring from the State Police he continued work as an investigator for the Maryland Department of the Environment.  The arrangements for Mr. Balog are listed below.  Please keep the Balog family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

Viewing: Sunday, August 12th, 2:00pm – 4:00pm and 5:00pm – 7:00pm, Lemmon’s Funeral Home 10 Padonia Rd (Padonia and York Rd)

Funeral: Monday, August 13th, 11:00am St. Joseph’s Catholic Church 100 Church Ln Cockeysville, MD

Burial to follow the Mass at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens

Death Notification : Corporal Albert Friedman (Retired)

The Lodge regrets to announce the death of retired Corporal Albert Friedman.  Albert Friedman passed away on August 1, 2018 after a year long battle with brain cancer. Al is survived by Kathy his wife of 35 years and his son Steven. Al joined the Baltimore County Police Department on November 6, 1979 and retired on November 2, 2013.

On November 5, 1979, 26 year-old Al Friedman received his acceptance letter into the Baltimore County Police Department where he was instructed to report for duty for the first time on November 26, 1979.  He began his field training at the Garrison precinct where he stayed for next two years and in March of 1982, Al transferred to C.O.P.E (Area I).   On December 21, 1985, Al received a promotion to Corporal and transferred to Traffic H.Q. This is when Al found his niche with Traffic Management.   34 years later, with hundreds of appreciation letters, commendations and awards, Corporal Al Friedman retired on November 2, 2013.

After a yearlong battle with brain cancer, Al left this earth to be in a much more beautiful place. Al was a husband, a father, and a son. He was a friend to many and a brother in Blue to all. He found solace in serving his community and the citizens of Baltimore County and most importantly, he loved making people laugh. Al has touched many hearts along the way and he will surely be missed.

A graveside service will be held on Sunday, August 5, 2018 at 12 p.m. at the United Hebrew Cemetery, 3901 Washington Boulevard, Halethorpe, MD 21227.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in the name of Albert Friedman to the American Cancer Society.

The Department sends its deepest sympathies to the Friedman family.

In lieu of flowers please make a donation in the name of Albert Friedman to the American Cancer Society.


Death Notification: Wade Luke Jackson

It is with deep regret that I inform you of the passing of Wade Luke Jackson, grandson to retired Colonel Pete Evans.  Wade was born on July 24, 2018 with a heart valve defect.  He underwent a surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital but they were not able to correct the defect.  Wade passed away on July 26, 2018.  Please keep the Evans and Jackson family in your prayers.

The funeral is private. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in the name of Wade Luke Jackson.

Death Notification: Donald Ralph Ricketts Sr

The Lodge regrets to announce the passing of Donald Ralph Ricketts Sr., father of Sgt. Harry Ricketts of the Warrant Apprehension Task Force. Those wishing to pay their respects may do so on the following date and times.

Viewing: Duda Ruck Funeral Home 7922 Wise Avenue Baltimore, MD 21222

Wednesday, July 25, 2018 5pm to 8pm

The internment will be held privately.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Ricketts family.

Death Notification: Delaney Marie Gaddis and Deborah Ann Limmer

The Lodge deeply regrets to announce the sudden and tragic passing of Delaney Marie Gaddis, the daughter of Officer Brian Gaddis of Precinct 2, and Deborah Ann Limmer, the mother in law of Officer Brian Gaddis. Both Delaney and Deborah passed away on July 23, 2018.

The family will receive friends at Peaceful Alternatives Funeral and Cremation Center, P.A., 2325 York Rd., Timonium, MD 21093 Sunday, July 29 from 2-4 and 6-8 PM. 
All other services will be private.
In lieu of flowers, please send memorial contributions to :
Defenders of Animal Rights, 14412 Old York Road, Phoenix, Maryland 21131.

Please keep Officer Brian Gaddis and his family in your thoughts and prayers during this extremely difficult time.

Death Notification: Howard C Swinney

The Lodge regrets to announce the passing of Howard C Swinney, father of Det. David Swinney of the Warrant Apprehension Task Force. Those wishing to pay their respects may do so on the following dates and times.

Viewing: Duda Ruck Funeral Home 7922 Wise Avenue Baltimore, MD 21222 Wednesday, July 25, 2018 3pm to 5pm, 7pm to 9pm

Funeral Service Duda Ruck Funeral Home 7922 Wise Avenue Baltimore, MD 21222 Thursday, July 26, 2016 1100am

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Swinney family.

Grand Jury Decides Not to Charge in Officer Involved Shooting

After deliberating for less than 3 minutes, the Grand Jury decided against any charges for Ofc. McCain for a shooting on 7/3/18 in Rosedale.

News article

The Baltimore County police officer who shot a shoplifting suspect July 3 in Rosedale will not be charged, according to the state’s attorney for Baltimore County.

A Baltimore County grand jury declined to charge Officer First Class McCain after hearing the facts of the case and viewing body camera footage from the incident on Wednesday, according to a news release from Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger’s office.

McCain, a 17-year veteran of the Baltimore County Police Department, shot Micah Tucker, 38, who was sitting in the passenger seat of what police said was a stolen SUV driven by 32-year-old Robyn Slack, of Cedmont.

It is at least the second time McCain has shot a shoplifting suspect. He fatally shot a man who was allegedly attempting to steal detergent from a Giant Food in Catonsville in 2017, and was also involved in a nonfatal shooting in 2006.

He was suspended with pay at the time of the incident, police said. It was unclear if he had returned to work as of July 18.

“As with any police-involved shooting, the police department will conduct an administrative review of all of the officers’ actions who were involved in this incident,” Cpl. Shawn Vinson, a spokesman for the police department, said

Tucker, a Belair-Edison resident, according to court records, was suspected of shoplifting from a Walgreens in Parkville early July 3. His shooting followed a 15-minute police chase as officers followed the SUV from Harford and Joppa roads to the 7400 block of Pulaski Highway. During the pursuit, another police vehicle attempted to block the car, footage from McCain’s body camera showed. The SUV turned and crashed into McCain’s police cruiser.

Later, McCain could be heard shouting at Slack and Tucker, “Stop the car! Stop the car!” before firing his gun at the car 11 times. It was unclear from the footage whether Slack headed toward McCain, as police said, or whether she was attempting to flee the scene.

McCain was not hurt in the July 3 incident.

Shellenberger declined to say whether his office sought charges against McCain.

“We decided to let the grand jury make the decision. So they heard the facts and we were leaving it up to them,” he said. “We thought it would be important for the public to know that an independent group of Baltimore County citizens made the decision.”

Members of the media were allowed to watch the footage taken by McCain’s body camera during the incident earlier this month. Although no charges were filed against McCain, Shellenberger said his office will not release McCain’s body camera footage to the public because cases are still open against Tucker and Slack, and it could prejudice juries.

Tucker was charged with two counts of theft less than $100, and Slack was charged with second-degree assault and two counts of theft less than $100, court records show. Tucker was released, and Slack is being held without bail at the Baltimore County Detention Center.

Attorneys for Tucker and Slack were not listed in court documents.

Baltimore Sun reporter Colin Campbell contributed to this article.



Death Notification: Edith Martin

The Lodge regrets to announce the death of Edith Martin, grandmother of Officer Brad Martin.

Memorial Service to be held on Monday 07/09/2018 from 1600-1900 hours Ruck Funeral Home 1050 York Rd Towson, MD 21204

Funeral Service to be held on Tuesday 07/10/2018 at 1000 hours  Ruck Funeral Home 1050 York Rd Towson, MD 21204.
Burial to follow

Please keep Officer Martin and the Martin family in your thoughts during this difficult time.