Judge Finifter Increases Judgement in Retiree Subsidy Case to Include an Additional $200K

On April 17, 2014 Judge Finifter ruled on FOP Lodge #4′s motion to reconsider his judgment in the retiree subsidy case.  He issued an amended judgment and awarded prejudgment interest in the amount of $213,446.47.  This will increase the original award to an amended total of $1,626,567.28.

Judgment has now been entered in the case. Going forward interest will accrue at a post-judgment interest rate of 10%.

When this case began in 2008 the County’s reimbursement owed to the affected retirees was approximately $500,000.00.  It has now grown to over three times that amount and will have an accelerated cost with the reimbursement and interest growing monthly.

The County continues to be defiant and ignore the order of the Court.  A petition was filed by the FOP for contempt.  No Court date has been set.

Please call or e-mail County Executive Kevin Kamenetz at 410-887-2450 or e-mail him at Kevin@baltimorecountymd.gov  and/or call or e-mail County Administrative Officer Fred Homan at 410-887-2460or e-mail him at fhoman@baltimorecountymd.gov. Tell them to pay as directed by the court and stop wasting taxpayer dollars on a case that has concluded.

Read the amended judgment below

Amended Judgment

The FOP Obtains Legislation to Ensure the Fair Treatment of Officers

 

Today two important pieces of legislation affecting the lives and careers of Maryland law enforcement officers were signed into law by the Governor.  Senate Bill 436 – Exclusion of Evidence, sponsored by Senator Frosh, adds a provision to section 3-105 of the LEOBR.  The new provision, paragraph (C) allows a judge to exclude any evidence obtained in violation of any right granted by the LEOBR. 

The second, House Bill 598 – Disclosures- Punitive Action, sponsored by Delegate Dumais, adds a new section, 3-106.1 to the LEOBR.  This section provides a protection for officers who, for one reason or another, may have to have a disclosure made by the State’s Attorney to the defense to comply with Maryland disclosure rules.  In some jurisdictions, Chiefs and Sheriffs have terminated officers simply because a disclosure had to be made by the State’s Attorney.  This would occur even if the officer was found “not sustained” by Internal Affairs or “not guilty by a hearing board.  This addition to the LEOBR would prevent a Chief or Sheriff from taking punitive action in those instances.

Both Laws take effect on October1, 2014

FOP Lodge #4 files a Petition for Contempt Against County Executive Kamenetz for Disregarding a Court Order

On Friday March 28, 2014 the Baltimore County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #4 filed a Petition for an Order of Constructive Civil Contempt against Baltimore County, Maryland, County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, Director of the Office of Budget and Finance, Keith Dorsey and County Administrative Officer, Fred Homan.

Unfortunately, the FOP was compelled to file this contempt petition because these three (3) Baltimore County officials have refused to comply with the Baltimore County Circuit Court order issued by Judge Finifter, requiring the County to reset the health care subsidy split for the affected retirees and pay the order of judgment of $1,413,120.81 within the twenty (20) days.

This case was first brought before Arbitrator Richard Bloch in 2008, who, after a hearing, ruled the County was in violation and an issued an award ordering the County to restore the affected retirees to the property subsidy and to make them “whole”.  The County appealed the decision to the Baltimore County Circuit Court and lost.  The Circuit Court upheld the arbitrator’s decision.  The County continued to appeal and eventually the case was heard by Maryland’s highest Court, the Maryland Court of Appeals who, after a hearing, ruled for the retirees in 2012.  The County filed a motion to reconsider with the Court which was denied.

The legal arguments for the case have now concluded.  The case has proceeded through the entire legal process and has been decided by Maryland’s highest Court.  The County has “overcharged” the approximately 400 affected retirees and must restore the subsidy and reimburse each of them for the amounts as directed by the Court.  The Circuit Court has issued orders on November 5, 2013 and March 6, 2014 directing the County Officials to comply and they continue to disregard the orders. This intransigence to the rule of law has no place in the Maryland Judicial System.  Citizens expect more from their elected County Executive and those who are appointed by him to Department Head positions and confirmed by County Council.

It’s time for Baltimore County Executive Kamenetz to realize that although he may not agree with the decision of Maryland’s highest court, the decision is now the “Law of the Case” and is final.  His options have narrowed to a point where now the only responsible thing to do would be to comply with the Courts Order and put this issue to rest.

Read the petition below:

Petition for Contempt 3-28

Exhibit 1

Exhibit 2

Man shot by police in Parkville, after charging with a knife, dies

Oakleigh Elementary School had been placed on alert status

By Colin Campbell and Sean Welsh, The Baltimore Sun

7:45 AM EDT, March 19, 2014

Baltimore County police fatally shot a man after he charged at officers with a knife Tuesday afternoon in Parkville, they said.

Early Wednesday morning, police announced the man had died and identified him as Ryan Charles Deitrich, 21, who lived in the same block where he was shot.

Officers who were called to check on the well-being of a man in the 8600 block of Oakleigh Road arrived shortly after 1 p.m. to find him outside his home, police said.

Deitrich threatened officers with a knife and charged, police said. At least one officer shot him multiple times, police said.

A tactical team responded to the residence following the shooting. All officers involved in the incident are to be placed on administrative duty, police said.

The Baltimore County Fire Department transported the man to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Oakleigh Elementary School, which is a block from the scene, was on temporary “alert status,” according to Baltimore County Public Schools spokesman Charlie Herndon. He said “alert status” typically involves keeping children off playgrounds and from walking home after school.

The school was no longer on alert status at its 3:10 p.m. dismissal, and students who typically walk home were being released to parents at the school.

Yale Cohen, who lives a few houses away, said he heard yelling and saw an officer with a gun pointed up the street when he opened his front door.

“He was pointing his gun at somebody … I couldn’t see because my tree was in the way,” Cohen said.

Cohen said the officer yelled “drop it,” several times, then crouched and fired.

He estimated he heard around 10 shots. An emergency medical team treated Deitrich lying in the street for about 15 minutes, while tactical units searched the house to make sure no one else was inside.

“It’s freaky,” Cohen said. “This never happens around here.”

Baltimore Sun reporter Carrie Wells contributed to this report.

cmcampbell@baltsun.com

twitter.com/cmcampbell6

sjwelsh@baltsun.com

twitter.com/seanjwelsh

Memorial shirts are now available at the Lodge office

Baltimore County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #4 now has new memorial shirts available at the Lodge.  They are available in a cotton blend $15, and an athletic fabric $20.  Proceeds will be used to offset the expenses for a bus to the National Memorial Service on May 15, 2014.  All shirts are in navy blue.  Sizes are limited.

Memorial Shirt (Back)

Memorial Shirt (Front)

Baltimore County Circuit Court Judge Orders Baltimore County to Pay Back Retirees

On March 4, 2014 Baltimore County Circuit Court Judge Finifter issued a decision ordering Baltimore County to pay back $1,413,120.81 to approximately 400 police retirees for overcharges in health care since July 1 , 2007.  The decision stems from a hearing held on February 6, 2014 in which evidence was presented supporting the amount of overcharges. In the order, Judge Finifter refers back to a prior order in which he issued on August 28, 2013 that gave the County 20 days to comply by restoring the retirees to  the proper subsidy split and to reimburse each retiree.

This case originates from a grievance which was filed by the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #4 in September 2007.  The case was heard by an arbitrator in July 2008.  The arbitrator ruled in favor of the FOP.  The County challenged the arbitrator’s decision and the case eventually ended up being heard in April 2012 by the states highest court, The Maryland Court of Appeals.  The Court issued a decision in favor of the FOP in November 2012.

The County has since been contesting the amount owed to the retirees which is what led to the March 4, 2014 decision.

Judge Finifter’s Decision in Retiree subsidy case

FOP Legislation in the 2014 Session of the Maryland General Assembly

Below are some of the legislation the FOP is working on this session in Annapolis.  For a complete list of the legislation the FOP  has taken a position on or is monitoring please check the Maryland State FOP website.

Senate Bill 436 Exclusion of Evidence at a Hearing Board (Cross filed with HB 599)

Senate Bill 686 Prosecutorial Disclosures – Punitive Action (Cross filed with HB598)

House Bill 919 Carrying of Weapons by Retired Law Enforcement Officer on School Property

 

Scholarship Opportunity from the National FOP

Scholarship Opportunities for Children of FOP

My name is Erin Wills, and I am the current chair of the NCBAR Young Lawyer’s Division (YLD) Scholarship committee. Each year, our committee awards college scholarships to children of police officers who have been permanently disabled or killed in the line of duty.  We have about $20k to give out this year, and would love to help as many families as we can. The application can be accessed online: Click Here


Scholarship applications are due April 1, 2014.

 

 

FOP Members Speak in Front of the House Appropriations Committee for the Rights of Officers

On Tuesday February 18, 2014 members of the Fraternal Order of Police from across the state speak in favor of House Bill 598. This bill seeks to establish a process in which officers can have a venue to appeal any job action taken by a chief of police solely because the officer was placed on a “Brady” list.

The FOP speaks on the bill at the 2:18 mark.

Following the FOP, the  representatives from the Maryland Chiefs speak against the bill.

Everyone should listen carefully.

http://mgahouse.maryland.gov/house/play/3cf7a9f1-d1ce-4b7e-8004-71c3029399c4/?catalog/03e481c7-8a42-4438-a7da-93ff74bdaa4c

FOP Members from Across the State Testify in Front of House Judiciary Committee

On Tuesday February 11, 2014 members of the FOP from across the state of Maryland spoke in front of the Maryland House of Delegates Judiciary Committee in support of House Bill 599.  House Bill 599 would prevent police departments from using evidence that was obtained improperly or illegally against an officer in a hearing board.

You can watch the testimony by clicking on the link below.

After members of the FOP testify, several Maryland Chiefs will speak against the bill.

http://mgahouse.maryland.gov/house/play/23b1e26f03ef482b9fb5c95b815d968d/?catalog/03e481c7-8a42-4438-a7da-93ff74bdaa4c&playfrom=16486008

Form 1099′s

I spoke with a representative from the Baltimore County Retirement Office today.  Apparently, some members have contacted the office because they have not received their 1099.  All 1099′s were mailed out on January 30 &31.  If you have not received yours by today, please contact the pension office and let them know you have not received yours.  The contact number is 410-887-8246 or 1-877-222-3741.  They will take your information and have your 1099 reprinted and sent out to you asap.  For some reason it seems about half of the forms were delivered and the others are unaccounted.

Additionally, the 1099′s for accidental disabilities were not marked correctly.  The income was inadvertently placed in the taxable block instead of the non-taxable block.  Those 1099′s effected are being reprinted and will be sent out asap.  I was not given a time frame, only that it was a top priority.

If you have individual questions concerning your paperwork you should contact the Retirement Office at the numbers listed above.

 

Dave Rose
2nd Vice President

 

Fallen Hero Anniversary Date: Sergeant Bruce Prothero

This is a reminder of the anniversary date of the line-of-duty-death of Sgt. Bruce A. Prothero on Friday, February 7, 2014.

On February 7, 2000, Sergeant Bruce Prothero , a married father of five, was working part time as a security guard at a jewelry store on Reisterstown Road when four armed men robbed the store. When Sergeant Prothero followed the robbers out of the store, he was shot twice and died an hour later as a result of his wounds.

Under Departmental regulations Memorial Ribbon Bars may be worn on the uniform, above all other ribbons above the badge, on the anniversary dates of Baltimore County police officers killed-in-the-line-of-duty.

Members are encouraged to honor and remember Bruce A. Prothero by wearing their Memorial Ribbon Bars on February 7th of each year.