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: