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Protective order against Bel Air police chief dismissed Tuesday after consent order agreed to in divorce case

As part of an in-court agreement with his wife, the protective order against Bel Air Chief of Police Charles A. Moore Jr. was dismissed Tuesday in Harford County Circuit Court.

The judge immediately sealed the agreed-upon consent order that formally ended the proceeding.

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Baltimore County Circuit Court Judge Robert N. Dugan, who was called in to conduct the hearing in Harford County, weighed the merits of sealing the case and concluded that, based on chance of embarrassment to Moore’s son, Moore’s public position and other factors, the case should be sealed.

The consent order, a court order agreed to by the disputing parties and signed by a judge, was entered in a divorce case between Moore and his wife. As a provision of the order, the protective order was dismissed.

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Bel Air family law attorney James Gahring Gault, who is not involved in the case, explained that a consent order is much like a court order; the difference is that a consent order cannot be appealed and is usually read in open court.

It serves as “an agreement between two parties,” Gault said, and can award custody of a child, compel someone to leave their home, prohibit contact between two people or even award custody of a pet to one party or another.

Moore’s attorney Jason Silverstein said he could not discuss the contents of the consent order.

“Judge just sealed them,” he said on his way out of the courtroom.

Bel Air Town Administrator Jesse Bane watched the proceedings from the gallery. After the hearing, he said he would speak to the Bel Air Board of Town Commissioners “as soon as possible” to figure out what the town’s next steps will be.

Moore was placed on paid administrative leave after a temporary protective order, alleging he had tried to choke his son during a December dispute, was filed last week.

Bane, the former Harford County Sheriff, would not comment on the Bel Air Police Association’s call for an administrative investigation in response to Bane’s previous comments to The Aegis that having protective orders filed against a member of law enforcement “is nothing unusual.”

The Harford County Sheriff’s Office has referred the criminal investigation into the allegations against Moore to Baltimore County’s police department and state’s attorney’s office.

Moore was accused of choking his son Dec. 13 at his wife’s residence in Jarrettsville after the teenager punched him, according to court documents.

The temporary protective order also alleged other earlier instances of threats and physical contact between Moore, his wife and his youngest son dating back to 2009.

Moore and his wife separated in 2016 and do not live at the same address, according to court documents.

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