Billionaire donors Laura and John Arnold support far more in Maryland than police surveillance
The Baltimore Sun

Overheard in Judicial Proceedings

The Sun's crime columnist Peter Hermann went down to Annapolis this afternoon for what may have been the first legislative committee hearing in his many years reporting here. It was, apparently, an illuminating experience for him.

The first BlackBerryed e-mail of desperation arrived at 1:16, a mere 16 minutes after the scheduled start of the hearing. Apparently Peter failed to heed my last words of advice before he left Baltimore: Bring a book.

Hearing is delayed till 130. I'm down to reading hints from heloise in post style section while a group of people discuss moble home parks in st marys county with a woman I think is a lobbyist. Now they're going around a circle talking about what have I learned? I learned that politicians are people too one said. Politicians do listen said another. Added a woman. Its not what you say that matters its the relationships.

How did you do this? If I don't see a body soon I'm going to go crazy!

Four minutes later:

Hint number three from heloise. Put dog toys in a wicker basket. Why do I feel that's the best advice ill get all day? And why do I feel that whatever this moble home park thing is will be ahead of what I'm interested in? The guy next to me brought a crossword puzzle book. A pro.

Peter was in Annapolis for a hearing on a bill to restrict the number and manner of strip searches conducted by police and corrections officers in Maryland, the subject of a number of lawsuits, one of which was recently granted class action status. Evidently, they got around to it eventually. At 3:32, safely out of the capital, Peter sent over another e-mail, subject heading, "quote of the day: body cavity searches"

Gladden: "Why do you need a health officer? It's usually squat and cough."

Brochin: "When you put your hand up somebody's rectum, I don't think it's unreasonable for a health official to be there."

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