Officer gets probation in hit-and-run case
A Baltimore police officer who admitted leaving the scene of an accident in her Canton neighborhood received one year of unsupervised probation and was ordered to pay $250 in court costs yesterday, prosecutors said. The Baltimore Sun reported last month that the Baltimore state's attorney's office was reviewing how police and prosecutors handled the case, in which retired city police officer and District Court Commissioner Anthony Swiderski said he had to press charges more than two months after the 2007 accident because police had not pursued the matter. Officer Margaret Duffy pleaded not guilty in District Court last month but agreed with the prosecutor's statement of facts on charges of failing to stop after damaging an unattended vehicle, a type of no-contest plea.
Man's body found in Middle Branch of Patapsco
Baltimore homicide detectives were investigating the death of a man found floating yesterday in the Middle Branch of the Patapsco River near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge in South Baltimore. Police said the man's death is considered suspicious. Agent Donny Moses, a department spokesman, said police received a 911 call about 6:45 a.m. that a body was floating near the bridge. The body was taken to the state medical examiner's office for an autopsy.
No visitation rights for ex-partner of girl's mother
A Baltimore County judge has ruled that a 10-year-old girl would be better off without required visits with her adopted mother's ex-girlfriend, even though the woman helped raise the girl before the couple's relationship ended. The ruling follows a more than three-year legal battle between the woman, identified as Margaret K., and the girl's mother, Janice M. The women's full names have been kept confidential to protect the girl's privacy. Margaret K. initially won visitation rights after she was ruled a de facto parent. But the Maryland Court of Appeals ruled last year that de facto parenthood status is not recognized in Maryland and sent the case back to Baltimore County Circuit Court.
Howard County names Goddard as next fire chief
William F. Goddard III, a retired Prince George's County fire official, was named yesterday as Howard County's next fire chief. Goddard, 57, will succeed Chief Joe Herr, who is retiring March 1, said County Executive Ken Ulman. Goddard and Ulman met when both worked in the secretary of state's office during the Glendening administration. Goddard later served as chief of staff for the secretary of transportation and earlier spent a year working in the state fire marshal's office. Goddard will serve as acting chief until the county fire board considers his nomination.