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Carroll sheriff donates lumber, tent to charity


A large tent and lumber that former Carroll Sheriff John H. Brown purchased to build outdoor housing for inmates at the county detention center has been earmarked for donation, Sheriff Kenneth L. Tregoning announced yesterday.

Complaining that the county jail, which was designed for 144 prisoners, was too crowded when inmate population exceeded 190, Brown vowed in November 1997 to set up a tent in the jail's fenced yard and form a posse of unarmed civilian volunteers to help stand guard.

Brown's project ran into trouble when a wooden platform was constructed without proper building permits. Then it was determined that safety features required by state and local fire codes, such as sprinklers, would be too costly to install.

The posse, which had only one publicized member -- Baltimore Ravens' defensive tackle Tony "Goose" Siragusa -- never stood guard.

Brown lost the Republican primary to Tregoning, who defeated Democratic candidate Mervin L. Spiwak in November's general election.

In yesterday's announcement, Tregoning said he had received permission from federal authorities at the Department of Justice to dispose of Brown's $1,800 purchase, which was made with funds provided from federally forfeited property.

The lumber was removed by county workers yesterday and donated to the Hap Baker Firing Range in Westminster. The tent will be given to a nonprofit, charitable organization.

The jail's daily census runs high, but under 180 in recent months. A 100-bed addition, which is under construction at the detention center and scheduled to be completed in the spring, is expected to resolve the issue of crowding.

Pub Date: 1/14/99

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