State Roundup, May 15, 2013

DWYER GETS JAIL, STAYS SENTENCE WITH APPEAL: Del. Don Dwyer was given a 30-day jail sentence Tuesday for a drunken boating charge related to a collision in August that left seven people injured, including a 5-year-old girl who suffered skull fractures. It could be several months, however, before a final decision on whether Dwyer has to serve time. His lawyer promptly appealed the sentence, sending the case to circuit court, writes John Wagner of the Post.

Zoe Read of the Capital-Gazette reports that the judge told Dwyer that as a public official he is held to a higher standard, which Dwyer’s attorney called unfair.

The chief District Court prosecutor for Howard County, who was brought in to prosecute the Dwyer case, had asked for a weekend in jail as part of the sentence, but deferred to the judge whether a weekend Dwyer spent in an inpatient alcohol treatment facility could take its place, reports Andrea Siegel in the Sun.

THE LIST: Dwyer joins a growing list of public servants from Anne Arundel County who have been sentenced to serve jail time recently, writes Sarah Blumberg in the Capital-Gazette.

The Capital-Gazette puts together a little photo gallery of public figures from Anne Arundel who have served time in jail.

PUBLIC INFORMATION: Scott Calvert and Alison Matas of the Sun ask for the phone records of a number of public officials, including Gov. Martin O’Malley. The reporters write about their findings and say that the responses to the requests highlight differing viewpoints on the state’s public information law.

CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS’ PAY: Meg Tully of reports that 13 Maryland correctional officers indicted last month in a corruption case that has outraged legislators and the public were getting paid between $28,000 and $47,000 in 2012, according to salary figures from the comptroller’s office.

PRISON TREATMENT QUESTIONED: As the alleged leader of the Black Guerrilla Family gang at the Baltimore City Detention Center, federal prosecutors say, Tavon White could get access to pretty much whatever he wanted: drugs, phones, money and sex, writes Ian Duncan for the Sun. He is now being held under more straitened circumstances at a state prison in Cumberland, says his attorney, who is asking a judge to reconsider the conditions of his detention.

FOX ON O’MALLEY: Fox News is not backing off on the Baltimore prison story scandal despite a bunch of big national stories that have conservatives salivating over the damage they see the Obama administration suffering, writes media columnist David Zurawik for the Sun. Gov. Martin O’Malley, he writes, says the media needs to put the situation in context: that his administration initiated the federal probe into corruption two years ago. O’Malley added that he wonders why the official memorandum of understanding among federal and state agencies hasn’t been released.

Del. Mike Smiegel apparently has obtained that MOU, which, he adds, was supposed to be shredded. You can see the document here.

O’MALLEY TOURS OVAL OFFICE: On a lighter TV note, Gov. O’Malley took a tour of the Oval Office – on the set of “House of Cards” – as he touted the number and variety of jobs brought to Maryland through the film industry, writes columnist David Zurawik in the Sun.

WAIT FOR GUNS: On Tuesday, state Sen. Bryan Simonaire called on Gov. O’Malley to address the prolonged wait for state police background checks on gun purchases and transfers, which he said has stretched from seven days to 60, Zoe Read reports in the Capital-Gazette.

AIM AT REAL THREATS: In an op-ed in the Sun, Tom Schaller writes that while he supports gun ownership, “is it too much to ask that gun advocates more often aim their anti-government suspicions at real examples — rather than absurd fantasies — of governmental abuse of power?”

DEATH PENALTY PETITIONS: Bryan Sears of reports that state Sen. Jim Brochin is saying that getting the signatures required to place the death penalty on the 2014 ballot is going to take a lot of work and gives it a “50-50 chance.”

MILITARY PARTNERS: Gov. O’Malley, the ambassadors of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Estonia and military leaders of all sides met in Annapolis on Monday to celebrate anniversaries of partnerships between the two countries and the Maryland National Guard, which has been giving the two countries’ militaries battlefield experience, writes Matthew Hay Brown for the Sun.

HEALTH CARE REFORM: Maryland health advocates urged religious leaders on Tuesday to learn more about how federal health care reform will be implemented in the state so they can pass information on to uninsured congregants, according to an AP story in the Daily Record.

CYBER INTELLIGENCE: In this video interview, U.S. Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger talks with Center Maryland’s Damian O’Doherty and Lisa Harris Jones about the importance of passing the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act to help protect against the significant amount of cyber attacks our nation faces on a daily basis.

NATIONWIDE ALERT SYSTEM: U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin wants a nationwide alert system to help catch violent criminals who injure or kill police officers and is urging Congress to pass a bill that would put such a system in place, the Gazette’s Daniel Leaderman reports.

ST. MARY’S NEEDS FRESHMEN: St. Mary’s College of Maryland has only locked in about two-thirds of the students it needs for a full freshman class next school year, a shortfall that could cost the public liberal arts school $3.5 million in lost tuition, Jenna Johnson reports in the Post.

MOMENT OF SILENCE: Cecil County Council members moved one step closer Tuesday to adoption of a set of policies and procedures for themselves to follow, choosing, on a 3-2 vote, a voluntary moment of silence to start their future meetings, instead of having council members take turns in giving a prayer, reports Cheryl Mattix for the Cecil Whig.

About The Author

Cynthia Prairie

Contributing Editor Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor since 1979, when she began working at The Raleigh Times. Since then, she has worked for The Baltimore News American, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Prince George’s Journal and Baltimore County newspapers in the Patuxent Publishing chain, including overseeing The Jeffersonian when it was a two-day a week business publication. Cynthia has won numerous state awards, including the Maryland State Bar Association’s Gavel Award. Besides compiling and editing the daily State Roundup, she runs her own online newspaper, The Chester Telegraph. If you have additional questions or comments contact Cynthia at:

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