August 8, 2013

State Roundup, August 8, 2013

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JAIL STABBING: Legislators who help shape criminal justice policy in the state have joined union officials in demanding answers in the stabbing of a Western Maryland corrections officer, after it was revealed prison officials knew of a threat against the officer but didn’t warn him, writes Kevin Rector of the Sun.

A union for Maryland correctional officers criticized state prison managers Tuesday for failing to warn an officer who was stabbed only four days after officials were informed he was a target, according to an AP story in the Hagerstown Herald-Mail.

A Maryland corrections officers union is calling for three directors to be fired after authorities say a correction officer was recently stabbed five times at a state prison, reports Ashley Williams for WBAL-AM. Other stations had similar packages.

Ex-INMATES: In the face of criticism of his proposal to provide computer tablets to former inmates, Attorney General Doug Gansler calls that ‘a different issue,” and calls the tablet proposal “one small piece” of his overall plan to address the recidivism problem, reports WBAL radio.

CANDIDATES TIMING: Sun columnist Dan Rodricks has some criticism of the timing of Gansler’s remarks though praise for discussing the issue.

UNION TO ENDORSE BROWN: Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown is slated to pick up the first endorsement from a labor union in Maryland’s 2014 gubernatorial race, writes John Wagner of the Post.

COURTHOUSE TERMINALS: A rule change designed to guard against the use of court records for identity theft has led officials to shut off access to public terminals inside courthouses. Officials are directing members of the public to the case search website, where personal information is more tightly controlled, writes Ian Duncan for the Sun.

HEALTH SERVICE CENTER: A customer service center for the virtual insurance marketplace being run by the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange is now open to help individuals and families with general questions about health coverage and the new insurance program, writes Sarah Gantz for the Baltimore Business Journal.

PIPKIN SUCCESSION: The surprise retirement of Senate Minority Leader E. J. Pipkin has set up a succession scramble for his Upper Eastern Shore seat that is shaping up as a possibly brutal internal struggle among 36th District Republicans, reports Michael Dresser in the Sun.

INVESTIGATING RACISM: Health Secretary Joshua Sharfstein told African American leaders that he will investigate charges of racism in the Anne Arundel County health department after the removal of its director in January, Jack Lambert reports in the Capital.

JUVENILE SERVICES: Officials with the Maryland State Department of Education and the Department of Juvenile Services are disputing accusations leveled by 10 former educators, who had been longtime employees at local youth centers before being abruptly dismissed by the state in June, Greg Larry reports in the Cumberland Times-News.

IMPERSONATING AN AGENT: Van Smith writes in the City Paper that After three unsuccessful runs for the Howard County Board of Education, the electoral fortunes of 47-year-old Robert D. Ballinger II were already in doubt. But on June 26, they got decidedly worse when he faced charges of impersonating a Secret Service agent.