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Former Md. hospital chief pleads guilty


The former director of Crownsville State Hospital, who resigned when state officials discovered that he had lied about his credentials, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor yesterday in Anne Arundel Circuit Court and was placed on five years of probation.

Haroon R. Ansari, 34, had been charged with felony theft and violating a state personnel law, a misdemeanor. In exchange for his guilty plea, the state attorney general's office agreed to drop the felony theft charge, said Carolyn Henneman, the deputy chief of the criminal division in the attorney general's office.

Judge Warren B. Duckett Jr. sentenced Mr. Ansari to six months but suspended the time and gave him five years of probation. If Mr. Ansari does not violate the probation, his record will be cleared, Ms. Henneman said.

Mr. Ansari of Woodlawn also is required to work 100 hours of community service, pay a $3,000 fine, and tell the attorney general's office when he applies for other jobs. Mr. Ansari held his $62,000-a-year post at Crownsville for six months.

"The advantage to Mr. Ansari is that he can tell the world he has never been arrested or charged," his lawyer, William H. Murphy Jr., said of the deal. "I think this is a case of a talented man who did his job well but just got it the wrong way."

Mr. Ansari claimed to have a doctorate in educational psychology from Michigan State University and master's degrees from Michigan State and Western Michigan University when he applied for the Crownsville job Dec. 17, 1992. He also claimed to have been deputy director of the Illinois Mental Health Administration for 3 1/2 years. None of that was true, state officials said.

State administrators grew suspicious when Mr. Ansari decided to start several statewide programs before any detailed plans were developed, said Dr. Stuart B. Silver, director of the state Mental Hygiene Administration. Mr. Ansari agreed to resign when state officials confronted him.

Yesterday's plea does not end Mr. Ansari's legal troubles. The state is suing him to get back the salary he received.

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