The Maryland State Board of Elections announced yesterday a change to how the new voting system equipment will be used during early voting for the
2016 Presidential Primary Election. For this election, most early voters will manually make their selections on paper ballots and feed the marked ballots into a digital scanner. Voters with disabilities may use an accessible ballot marking device at each early voting center to make selections independently. With this change, the voting process during early voting will be identical to the election day process.
“Because of the number of candidates on this election’s ballot, I was concerned that voters
may not be able to easily find their candidates of choice,” stated Linda H. Lamone, State
Administrator. “When we heard from voters having troubles making selections and navigating in contests with many candidates, we thought that hand marking paper ballots was the best option for most voters and candidates.”
“With the State Board’s action today, I am confident that the voting experience in the 2016
Primary Election will be simple and easier to navigate,” stated David J. McManus, Jr., Chairman of the State Board of Elections. “We look forward to using the ballot marking device in future elections but believe today’s decision is the right outcome for Maryland voters and candidates.”
As initially designed, all voters during early voting would have used an accessible ballot
marking device to make selections. The voter would then feed into a digital scanner the ballot printed from the ballot marking device. This equipment configuration was designed to allow for the smoothest possible transition for voters and election officials as the State moves to a new paper-based voting system.
The ballot for Maryland’s 2016 Presidential Primary Election, however, has an exceptionally
large number of contests with multiple candidates. The large number of candidates means that candidates’ names in at least ten contests will be displayed on more than one screen on the ballot marking device. For example, there are currently eleven Republican nominees for President of the United States and nine Democratic nominees for Congressional District 8. After reviewing the final list of candidates and the number of contests with multiple screens, the State Board of Elections decided to use hand-marked paper ballots as the primary means voting at this time.
Although most voters will not use ballot marking devices in the 2016 Presidential Primary
Election, the State Board of Elections is confident in the ballot marking device technology and will be expanding its use in future elections.
In 2015 Special Operations K-9 implemented the Puppy Program - a test/pilot program to determine if purchasing a puppy directly from a breeder at 8 weeks of age is a viable alternative to buying adult dogs from venders at a much greater cost. A puppy costs $1,500 vice an import 15 month old dog with no training for $6,000 - $8,000. There are guarantees with an older dog; however, older dogs come with very little training. The pilot program will help determine questions such as 1) would we increase the quality of our working dogs if they were raised from a puppy and 2) would this create a significant cost savings for the Agency.
In late 2015 the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office purchased its first puppy from Avisa K9 in Miami, Florida. On January 27th 2016, the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office received a 9 week old male Belgian Malinois puppy named Arn. Arn will live with Sgt. Gregory for the next 15 months. Sgt. Gregory will continue to work with Arn every day until he is ready for service. Arn will go through a systematic routine that will enhance his bite, nose use, agility, confidence, socialization and learning.
In the end, Arn will be ready for his handler and a Police Service Dog Class. The goal is for Arn to be assigned to Dfc. Funchion and replace K-9 Jax as the S.O.T. SWAT dog in the fall of 2017.
(PIKESVILLE, MD)— As Super Bowl Sunday approaches, troopers suggest fans take time to make the right call to save lives and designate a sober driver.
Maryland state troopers are anticipating fans will be traveling on Super Bowl Sunday to and from different locations to enjoy the game. With this in mind, Maryland State Police Superintendent Colonel William M. Pallozzi, has directed each of the 23 barracks to conduct saturation patrols focusing on impaired, aggressive, and distracted drivers. Additional troopers will be assigned.
Last year, on Super Bowl Sunday, troopers arrested 53 drunk drivers. Driving with a blood alcohol content of .08 is evidence of intoxication and is against the law. A driver under the age of 21, with any measurable alcohol in their system is in violation of alcohol laws in Maryland.
“If drinking and driving is a part of your play book, know that troopers will be on the defense to tackle drunk drivers,” said Colonel Pallozzi. “Drinking and driving should never mix. There will be zero tolerance for anyone who elects to jeopardize the safety of others by choosing to drive while impaired.”
In addition to the many troopers who will be out on patrol, Maryland State Police has its own DUI enforcement team. The S.P.I.D.R.E Team is a full time team of troopers dedicated to identifying and arresting impaired drivers. Enforcement initiatives will be joint operations with local law enforcement throughout the state this Super Bowl weekend.
The additional state police patrols are part of the Maryland Highway Safety Office initiative “Towards Zero Death.” Additional patrols are provided by grants from the Maryland Highway Safety Office and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
If you are attending a Super Bowl Party:
Designate your sober driver before the party begins and give that person your car keys.
Avoid drinking too much alcohol too fast by pacing yourself – eat enough food, take breaks, and alternate with non-alcoholic drinks.
If you don’t have a designated driver, ask a sober friend for a ride home; call a cab, friend, or family member to come and get you; or just stay where you are and sleep it off until you are sober.
Never let a friend leave your sight if you think they are about to drive while impaired. Remember, Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk.
Always buckle up – it’s still your best defense against other impaired drivers.
If you are hosting a Super Bowl Party:
Remember, you can be held liable and prosecuted if someone you served ends up in an impaired-driving crash.
Be sure all of your guests designate their drivers in advance, or help arrange ride-sharing with sober drivers.
Serve lots of food and be sure to include plenty of non-alcoholic beverages at the party.
Stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter of the game and begin serving coffee and dessert.
Keep the numbers for local cab companies handy, and take the keys away from anyone who is thinking of driving while impaired.
The Charles County Commissioners are seeking county residents to fill vacancies on the following boards, committees, and commissions:
Adult Public Guardianship Review Board
Alarm Review Board
Animal Matter Hearing Board
Area Council of Aging
Board of License Commissioners (Liquor Board)
Board of Social Services
Gaming Permit Review Board
Historic Preservation Commission
There are two vacancies on the Historic Preservation Commission. The Commission reviews development plans for impacts to historic resources, recommends properties for local historic landmark designation, reviews exterior changes to locally designated landmarks, and supports documentation of historic resources throughout Charles County. Applicants for this vacancy must possess professional training in any of the following areas: history, architectural history, archeology, historic preservation, landscape design, or related field. The Board meets monthly. Members serve 3-year terms.
There are seven vacancies on the 11-member on the Adult Public Guardianship Review Board. There is one vacancy for each of the following specifications: nurse, citizen member, physician member, registered pharmacist, attorney, health department psychiatrist, and non-profit social services organization representative. The Board provides impartial oversight of the care and services provided for individuals under public guardianship, review the current status of health and welfare of these persons, and makes recommendations as to whether guardianship should be continued as established, modified, or terminated. The Board meets twice a year and as needed for emergency situations. Members serve 4-year terms.
There are two vacancies on the Board of Social Services for citizens members. The Board of Social Services is tasked with dealing with policies, programs, and problems of the local Department of Social Services and Public Assistance Administration. This board meets the second Monday of the month at 6:15 p.m.
There are vacancies on the Heritage Commission for citizen members. The task of the Heritage Commission is to manage, procure, preserve, and disseminate materials relating to the local history of Charles County. Members serve 4-year terms.
Positions will remain open until filled. A separate application must be submitted for each vacancy. Applications and a detailed list of all current vacancies are available on the Charles County Government website at www.CharlesCountyMD.gov or by contacting Carol DeSoto, Commissioner Specialist, at 301-645-0691 or DeSotoC@CharlesCountyMD.gov
Comptroller Peter Franchot today notified Maryland taxpayers that the processing of their electronically-filed returns may experience a slight delay due to an IRS hardware failure that was detected this afternoon.
The IRS malfunction, which has shut down the federal e-file system, delays Maryland’s ability to retrieve and process returns. The IRS is working to restore normal operations as soon as possible, but taxpayers are advised that some of the systems will remain unavailable until at least tomorrow. Maryland’s direct online i-File and b-File applications are not impacted by this problem.
Although the IRS does not anticipate major refund disruptions, several services found on IRS.gov, including the Where’s My Refund tool, are unavailable.
Taxpayers can continue to prepare and file their tax returns as they normally would. Taxpayers can continue to send their tax returns to their e-file provider; these companies will hold the tax returns until the IRS resumes accepting electronic returns. Taxpayers who already have filed their returns do not need to take any additional action.
Marylanders with additional questions should contact the Comptroller's Office by calling 1-800-MD-TAXES (1-800-638-2937) or 410-260-7980 in Central Maryland or by emailing TAXHELP@comp.state.md.us.
OFFICER-INVOLVED SHOOTING/PRELIMINARY REPORT: On February 4, at 2:07 p.m., a CCSO K9 officer was in the area of Post Office Road and St. Charles Parkway in Waldorf when he observed a male standing next to the driver’s window of a car that was stopped at a red light. There appeared to be a dispute or a confrontation between the man and the driver of the car. It also appeared that the subject was attempting to open the driver’s side door. The officer pulled over to check on the driver’s safety, at which point the suspect fled. The officer gave several commands for the suspect to stop and show his hands, but the suspect refused. The officer gave more commands but the suspect did not comply and instead reached for his waistband while turning toward the officer. Fearing for his safety, the officer discharged his firearm striking the suspect twice. An off-duty Secret Service agent was in the area and assisted the officer in apprehending the suspect. A handgun was found in the suspect’s waistband. Officers secured the weapon and immediately rendered first aid to the suspect until paramedics arrived. The suspect, an adult male in his 20’s, was transported to a hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. Detectives assigned to the CCSO Criminal Investigations Division are investigating. Anyone with information is asked to call Det. Sgt. T. Miner at (301) 609-6481. In accordance with Agency policy, the officer was placed on Administrative Leave pending the completion of the investigation.
Today, Thursday 2/4/2016, preparations are underway by the Department of Public Works (DPW), Utilities Division, to repair a broken water main in the neighborhood of Strawberry Hills. Starting at 10:00 am, service will be interrupted on Arbor Lane (from 5864 to 6851 both sides of road) and all of Oakwood Court until approximately 3:00 pm. Once normal service is restored, run spigots for discolored water. We thank you in advance for your patience and understanding. For questions, contact DPW 301.609.7400.
Annapolis, MD - As part of the global effort to cut carbon dioxide emissions by the year 2030, states around the country are starting to set goals to meet those standards and the group Environment America says now's the time to put a really ambitious plan into place.
Representatives from nine Northeastern states gathered for the first time since the Paris Climate Agreement to talk about cutting pollution and reducing global warming. Travis Madsen, the Maryland campaign director for Environment America, says the next important step forward is to strengthen the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to reduce more power plant pollution faster.
"On both of those fronts Maryland has been pushing forward, developing policies to help accelerate the speed in which we are transitioning away from dirty fuels and toward clean energy." said Madsen
This past December, the United States joined nearly every country in the world in signaling an intention to protect the world from climate change. The Paris Climate Agreement points toward a future powered by 100 percent clean energy. Opponents have called it a war on coal and say the Environmental Protection Agency has overstepped its authority.
Madsen says states like Maryland have been leading the charge. "Maryland, along with eight other states in the Mid Atlantic and Northeast region have been doing this very thing for almost seven or eight years now. So they know how to do this and they've set the precedent that the rest of the country is looking to." Madsen says Maryland needs to start using more of the alternative energy that's already available. Madsen says the next frontier for Maryland is wind energy. "We're going to need to put some wind farms out into the ocean that can generate clean electricity for use in our homes and our businesses and also to power our vehicles."
Environment America is pushing Maryland and other states in the region to cut power plant emissions by another 50 percent by the year 2030.
WHEEL THEFT: Sometime between 11 p.m. on February 2 and 2:07 a.m. on February 3, wheels were stolen off of a vehicle at a car dealership in the 2400 block of Crain Highway in Waldorf. Officer G. Cook is investigating.
FIRST DEGREE ASSAULT: On February 1 at 6:53 p.m., officers responded to the 11000 block of Lewisham Place in Waldorf for the report of a stabbing. Upon arrival, officers interviewed the victim who stated that a relative stabbed him in the lower back with a knife during an argument and subsequently fled. The victim was transported to a nearby hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Officers identified the suspect as Curtis Wayne Duff, 22, of Waldorf, and investigators assigned to the Warrant Unit are trying to locate him. Anyone with information is asked to call the Charles County Sheriff’s Office Warrant Unit at (301) 932-3065. Tipsters wishing to remain anonymous may contact Crime Solvers by calling 1-866-411-TIPS, texting CHARLES the tip to CRIMES (274637) or submitting tips online at tipsubmit.com. Crime Solvers is offering a $1,000 cash reward for tips that lead to an arrest in this case.
ATTEMPTED CARJACKING: On January 31 at approximately 6:30 p.m., officers responded to the 11000 block of Scotch Hills Place in Waldorf for the report of an attempted carjacking. An investigation revealed that the victim had exited her vehicle to get her mail, and when she returned there was an unknown male sitting in the driver’s seat. The suspect assaulted the victim, took her keys, and attempted to leave in the vehicle. When a struggle ensued, the suspect fled the area on foot. The suspect is described as a black male in his teens, approximately 5’8” to 5’10” in height and weighing 160 pounds, wearing dark clothing. Officer S. Hillman is investigating.
STOLEN ATV RECOVERED/TWO SUSPECTS IDENTIFIED: On December 21, 2015, officers responded to a business in the 4700 block of Crain Highway in White Plains for the report of a possible stolen motor vehicle. An investigation revealed that a 2015 Kawasaki Teryx4, which had been reported stolen from Colonial Beach, Virginia on December 16, 2015, was brought in for repairs. Detectives identified Tyrone Maxwell Turner and Dwayne Alonzo Proctor, the two men who brought in the ATV, as suspects in the theft. On January 29, Turner, 34 of Indian Head, was arrested and charged with felony motor vehicle taking and theft 10K to under 100K. Proctor has not been located. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call Detective D. Savoy at (301) 609-6581. Tipsters wishing to remain anonymous may contact Crime Solvers by calling 1-866-411-TIPS, texting CHARLES the tip to CRIMES (274637) or submitting tips online at tipsubmit.com. Crime Solvers is offering a $1,000 cash reward for tips that lead to an arrest in this case.
NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, Md. - Communities surrounding Webster Outlying Field in St. Inigoes are advised that helicopter night test events are scheduled to take place from 5-8 p.m. Feb. 5-12.
As with all operations, NAS Patuxent River takes precautions to lessen the impact of testing activities on the community. For more information call 1-866-819-9028.
LEONARDTOWN, MD – The Board of Education of St. Mary’s County seeks public input in preparation for the development of the 2016-2017 (Fiscal Year 2017) operating budget for St. Mary’s County Public Schools (SMCPS). SMCPS employees and community members are invited to participate in this Budget Forum on Wednesday, February 17, 2016, 6:00 p.m., in the Board of Education Meeting Room of the Central Administration Building, 23160 Moakley Street, Leonardtown, Maryland.
A sign-up sheet will be available at 5:30 p.m., with individual public comment limited to three minutes. Speakers are encouraged to provide comments in writing, even if presented at the forum, to allow the Board to give consideration to all input.
For additional information, call (301) 475-5511, ext. 32177.
The Charles County Administrator’s Monthly Report is a new online document available for public viewing each month. The report will be updated monthly, and focuses on county departments’ performance and achievements. Read the Monthly Report to see how Charles County Government is working for you. To view the Monthly Report, visit www.CharlesCountyMD.gov/coadmin/county-administrators-monthly-report.
“Transparency is vital in fostering the relationship between county government and our community. The purpose of the Monthly Report is to inform the Commissioners and to increase the public’s awareness of county operations and progress toward Commissioners’ goals and objectives,” said County Administrator Michael D. Mallinoff. “It is my hope that the community finds this resource useful as we continue to better serve our residents.”
The Monthly Report includes:
•County department highlights and achievements
•Departmental performance measures and budgets
•Citizen response statistics
In addition to the Monthly Report, Department Business Plans will also be available online for public viewing. The Business Plans include goals, objectives, challenges, opportunities, organizational charts, reports and analysis, performance measures, and governance leadership for each county department.
For more information about the Monthly Report, contact the Public Information Office at 301-885-2779 or PressRoom@CharlesCountyMD.gov. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.
Charles County Sheriff Troy D. Berry is proud to announce the Charles County Detention Center (CCDC) achieved a 100 percent compliance rating during an audit conducted by the Maryland Commission on Correctional Standards (MCCS) from January 12 – 16.
The MCCS created standards to ensure correctional facilities in Maryland operate as safely, efficiently and professionally as possible. Representatives from MCCS conduct audits of each correctional facility in Maryland every two to three years to determine whether the facility meets the more than 100 standards of professional excellence. In 2001, the Charles County Detention Center became the first agency in the state to achieve a perfect score during an audit and has since maintained a perfect rating, with audits in 2004, 2006, 2009, and 2012.
MCCS auditors examine all aspects of the CCDC, including security and emergency plans, to ensure the working environment for employees and the living environment for inmates is satisfactory. To meet the standards, employees must keep accurate and detailed records of every inmate including how they are classified, whether they require special diets, their hygiene items, all mail they receive, their financial accounts, their visitors, the religious and education services they use, disciplinary hearings and when, where and why they are transported. In addition, auditors review all operating records to ensure mandated rules are met. This includes all employee training and yearly visits by the Charles County Health Department, the Office of the State Fire Marshal and the Maryland Occupational Safety and Health office. CCDC staff must also keep a strict inventory of every key, pair of handcuffs, and tool within the facility.
The CCDC is commanded by Director Susan Rice, and the Standards Section is commanded by Lt. Robert Studds, who is responsible for handling all internal and external inspections of the facility, reviewing all paperwork, and ensuring compliance of the Corrections Division Policy and Procedure Manual to guarantee it is operating according to the standards set forth by the MCCS. “Achieving 100 percent compliance is a demonstration of the pride and dedication the employees of the CCDC consistently prove,” said Director Rice. “We have a great team, and we are so proud of each and every employee who made it possible.”
“Our Corrections Division has one of the toughest jobs in the agency,” said Sheriff Berry. “From the command staff to officers and support personnel, their dedication to maintaining custody and security of inmates, as well as offering a variety of programs to reduce recidivism and help inmates, is always evident. Their consistent perfect scores during the MCCS audits is a testament to their commitment and passion for their work.”
NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, Md. - Communities surrounding the naval air station are advised that noise-generating testing events are scheduled to take place between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Feb. 6.
Low-level jet aircraft flight operations are required in order to conduct calibration testing with ground based equipment. Residents may notice increased noise levels due to these operations.
As with all operations, NAS Patuxent River takes precautions to lessen the impact of testing activities on the community. For more information call 1-866-819-9028.
The Maryland State Department of Education has announced that federal funds are available to assist public and private nonprofit organizations in serving free, nutritious meals to children and teens this summer through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), a U. S. Department of Agriculture program.
More than 400,000 Maryland children are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals, but may not have access to nutritious meals during the summer when schools are closed. For these families, food insecurity increases during the summer months. The SFSP plays a vital role in reducing childhood hunger along with providing healthful meals.
“While Maryland has made progress to expand access and increase participation in the summer meals program, more communities need to become involved in providing a meal service so children have access to meals in the summer months and return to school ready to learn,” said Dr. Jack Smith, Interim State Superintendent of Schools. “Particularly effective is pairing nutritious summer meals with engaging enrichment and recreational programs to draw children to the meal sites.”
The SFSP provides reimbursement to organizations for meals and snacks served to children in areas where at least 50 percent of the children qualify for free or reduced-price meals under the National School Lunch Program, or when 50 percent of the children enrolled in a program qualify for free or reduced-price meals. Most organizations may be reimbursed for up to two meals or snacks per child per day. Camps and migrant programs may be reimbursed for up to three meals per child each day. Meals and snacks must meet federal nutrition standards.
The Program is open to children and teens age 18 and under and to individuals over 18 who are mentally or physically disabled. Interested organizations should contact MSDE at 410-767-0214. The deadline for applications is May 31, 2016. For information about the SFSP, please visit www.eatsmartmaryland.org.
Comptroller Peter Franchot today announced that, effective immediately, he has suspended processing electronic and paper tax returns from 16 additional Liberty Tax Service franchise locations and three other private preparers at four locations due to a high volume of questionable returns received. On the heels of last week’s announcement to stop processing returns from seven Baltimore-area Liberty Tax Service franchises, the Comptroller’s Office has halted processing returns from 16 additional locations of the tax preparation businesses. They are:
· 11262 Georgia Ave., Wheaton
· 200 N. Highland Ave., Baltimore
· 201 Back River Neck Road, Middle River
· 2039 W. Pratt St., Baltimore
· 2201 N. Charles St., Baltimore
· 2927 Emmorton Road, Abingdon
· 312 S. Broadway, Baltimore
· 343 Belair Road, Baltimore
· 3414 Eastern Ave., Baltimore
· 3427 Dundalk Ave., Dundalk
· 435 C Eastern Blvd., Essex
· 4422 Park Heights Ave., Baltimore
· 6518 B Reisterstown Road, Baltimore
· 7305 York Road, Towson
· 7565 Ritchie Highway, Glen Burnie
· 8020 New Hampshire Ave., Langley Park
The seven Liberty Tax Service locations in which tax processing remains suspended include:
· 7730 Wise Ave., Dundalk
· 2400 E. Monument St., Baltimore
· 1742 W. North Ave., Baltimore
· 2401 Liberty Heights Ave., Baltimore
· 1808 Pennyslvania Ave., Baltimore
· 3308 Greenmount Ave., Baltimore
· 503 W. Lexington St., Baltimore
In addition, three private preparers at four different locations have been added to the list of suspended processing sites due to exceedingly high volumes of suspicious tax filings:
· EB Tax Services, 1809 Pennsylvania Ave. & 2322 Monument St., Baltimore
· B & B Tax Services, 4707 Harford Road, Ste. B, Baltimore
· DE Brown, 36B E25th St., Baltimore.
Comptroller Franchot, pursuant to the recently signed IRS Security Memorandum of Understanding ("MOU"), has shared this information with other tax agencies. The Comptroller’s Office also has advised the Office of the Attorney General and the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation of the action, so that they can take any additional appropriate actions.
Suspicious characteristics detected on the tax returns prompting the determination included:
· Business income reported when taxpayers did not own a business.
· Refund amounts requested much higher than previous year tax returns.
· Inflated and/or undocumented business expenses.
· Dependents claimed when taxpayer did not provide required 50 percent support or care.
· Inflated wages and withholding information.
The Comptroller’s Office is continuing its investigation of all Liberty Tax Service franchise locations and other independent tax preparers in the State of Maryland and will notify the public of any additional actions taken as a result. Taxpayers should carefully review their returns for these issues and should be suspicious if a preparer: deducts fees from the taxpayer’s refund to be deposited into the tax preparer’s account; does not sign the tax return; or fails to include the Preparer Taxpayer Identification number "P-TIN" on the return.
If taxpayers want to check to see if the Comptroller’s Office is processing returns from a particular tax preparer, or on their status for a previously filed claim, they are asked to contact the Maryland Comptroller’s Office Ombudsman at 410-260-4020.
If taxpayers suspect fraud, they are asked to immediately report the issue to the Comptroller's Questionable Return Detection Team at QRDT@comp.state.md.us.
Leonardtown, MD - The St. Mary’s County Economic Development Commission (EDC) will hold work sessions on February 3 and 17 to discuss the development of a strategy to diversify the local economy.
Both sessions will begin at 6 p.m. and take place in the Russell Conference Room of the Joseph D. Carter State Office Building, 23110 Leonard Hall Drive, Leonardtown, Maryland.
The EDC's meetings are open to the general public. For more information about the St. Mary’s County EDC, contact Robin Finnacom, Deputy Director at 301-475-4200, ext. *1407 or via email to email@example.com.
Greenbelt, Maryland – Former Charles County Judge Robert C. Nalley, of La Plata, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to deprivation of rights under color of law for ordering a deputy sheriff to activate a stun-cuff worn by a pro se criminal defendant during a pre-trial court proceeding.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Vanita Gupta; and Special Agent in Charge Kevin Perkins of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office.
"Disruptive defendants may be excluded from the courtroom and prosecuted for obstruction of justice and contempt of court, but force may not be used in the absence of danger," said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein.
“Under our constitution, judges serve as the guardians and arbitrators of justice,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “When government officials – including judges – violate the rights we entrust them to defend and break the laws we expect them to uphold, they undermine the legitimacy of our justice system.”
From 1988 to September 2014, Nalley was a judge of the Circuit Court for Charles County, Maryland. According to his guilty plea, on July 23, 2014, Judge Nalley presided over the jury selection for the victim, who was representing himself in a criminal proceeding in Charles County court. Before the proceedings began, a deputy sheriff informed Judge Nalley that the victim was wearing a stun-cuff. Judge Nalley was aware that when activated, the stun-cuff would administer an electrical shock to the victim, thereby incapacitating him and causing him pain.
Several minutes after the proceedings had begun, Judge Nalley asked the victim whether he had any questions for the potential jurors. The victim repeatedly ignored Judge Nalley and instead read from a prepared statement, objecting to Judge Nalley’s authority to preside over the proceedings, while standing calmly behind a table in the courtroom. The victim did not make any aggressive movements, did not attempt to flee the courtroom, and did not pose a threat to himself or to any other person at any point during the proceedings. Judge Nalley twice ordered the victim to stop reading his statement, but the victim continued to speak.
Judge Nalley then ordered the deputy sheriff to activate the stun-cuff, which administered an electric shock to the victim for approximately five seconds. The electric shock caused the victim to fall to the ground and scream in pain. Judge Nalley recessed the proceedings.
Nalley faces a maximum sentence of one year in prison followed by one year of supervised release and a fine of up to $100,000. U.S. Magistrate Judge William Connolly has scheduled sentencing for March 31, 2016 at 10:00 a.m.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein and Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta commended the FBI for its work in the investigation, and thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kristi N. O’Malley and Daniel C. Gardner of the District of Maryland, and Trial Attorney Mary J. Hahn of the Civil Rights Division, who are prosecuting the case.
Theft from Motor Vehicle: On 1/28/16 at 2:41 pm, Corporal Newman responded to the 12500 block of Catalina Dr. for a reported theft from a motor vehicle. The victim reported several items were removed from the unlocked vehicle while in the driveway. The neighborhood was canvassed with no results. Investigation continues.
Open Warrant / Possession With Intent to Distribute: On 1/29/16 at 11:59 pm, Trooper First Class Newcomer stopped a vehicle on Rt. 4 south of Auto Drive in Prince Frederick for traffic violations. A glass smoking device with white powdery substance was in plain view. A probable cause search was conducted. The driver, Frank W. Johnson III, 40 of Upper Marlboro, was placed under arrest for possession with intent to distribute Crack Cocaine and Heroin. The front passenger, Dante M. Johnson, 26 of Upper Marlboro, was placed under arrest for an open warrant through the MSP Prince Frederick and he was charged with possession with intent to distribute Heroin. The rear seat passenger, Vanessa C. Brooks-Williams, 29 of Capitol Heights, was found to be in possession of Crack Cocaine and Heroin in individually packaged bags for intent to distribute and was placed under arrest. All three suspects were incarcerated at the Calvert County Detention Center.
Theft: On 1/30/16 at 1:53 pm, Trooper First Class Matthews responded to the 3400 block of Chaneyville Rd. in Owings for a reported theft. The victim reported that after having furniture delivered by ValuCity Furniture, a Paslode electric nail gun and a black bag containing several Kirkland hand tools had been removed from the counter in the garage. Investigation continues.
Burglary: On 1/31/16 at 3:45 pm, Trooper First Class Bray responded to the 300 block of Dares Wharf Rd. in Prince Frederick for a reported burglary. The victim reported a red 2012 Honda generator had been removed from his unlocked garage. Investigation continues.