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Fire officer picked up again by police investigating complaint


County Fire Department Lt. Patrick Gilligan, arrested three times in recent incidents that appeared alcohol-related but released in each case without a bail hearing, was picked up this week by police investigating a report of a disoriented man knocking on doors in a Severna Park neighborhood.

Gilligan - son of attorney and former County Council member Michael Gilligan - was driven home by police after the incident about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the 200 block of Balsam Drive, according to Officer Charles Ravenell, a police spokesman. Ravenell said no charge resulted.

The veteran firefighter was arrested July 27 and Aug. 21 on charges of drunken driving. Two days after the second incident he was arrested in an alleged break-in attempt at the home of an elderly Pasadena woman several blocks from his own residence.

He was released through the intervention of Police Chief P. Thomas Shanahan before officers investigating the incident had completed the paperwork to formally charge Gilligan and bring him before a District Court commissioner for a bail hearing.

Shanahan - criticized within his own department for what was viewed as preferential treatment - said later that he took the action so that Gilligan, 35, could receive immediate alcohol treatment. A misdemeanor burglary charge was filed two days later.

After each DWI arrest, Gilligan had been released into the custody of his father - a friend of the county executive, Shanahan's boss - to seek alcohol treatment.

When he returned to work on Aug. 30, Gilligan was served with a summons on the burglary charge and placed on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of drug and alcohol testing.

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