Former Baltimore Police Department major files complaint after she says false charges resulted in her suspension

A former Baltimore police major who received an unpaid suspension after she was investigated by internal affairs for alleged theft, is asking for a Baltimore Circuit Court judge to intervene in the case.

Kimberly Burrus, who has been demoted from major to lieutenant, said that the charges were false and that interim Commissioner Gary Tuggle unfairly recommended a 60-day unpaid suspension and that she be transferred to an assignment the commissioner “deems appropriate,” according to the complaint filed Tuesday.

In the complaint, Burrus said she has not been given a “multitude of procedural rights,” and she asked the court to issue a preliminary injunction until she is investigated fairly.

“She is serving a suspension as a lieutenant and has not received the procedural due process afforded to her by the [Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights]. Not only is she entitled to a hearing, she is also entitled to appropriate notice,” the complaint said. “She is entitled to subpoena power under the LEOBR. None of this was afforded to her.”

Burrus had been investigated last year by the department’s internal affairs section for allegedly taking funds from the Blue Love Across America nonprofit she founded to raise money for community events that improve relations between police and citizens.

The investigation began after her ex-husband, Capt. Torran Burrus — also a Baltimore police commander — made the allegations during testimony at a custody hearing for their son in December 2017. Her ex-husband said Burrus misused funds that had been donated to the charity, including more than $2,000 for a personal European vacation.

Kimberly Burrus testified at the same hearing that the funds she’d used for the flights were owed to her as compensation for her prior expenditures to cover costs for the nonprofit.

She later filed a criminal complaint against her ex-husband, alleging that he burglarized her home to obtain evidence used against her in the theft case, causing him to be suspended without pay.

The Baltimore state’s attorney’s office said in July that Kimberly Burrus’ actions did not show “a deliberate attempt to steal” and said it would not pursue criminal charges. A spokeswoman from the state’s attorney’s office said prosecutors found that the amount Burrus spent from the charity for personal reasons was in line with the amount of personal money she used to start and maintain it.

The office also declined to file charges against her ex-husband.

The complaint Burrus filed this week said her reputation has been hurt as a result of the investigation and media coverage.

“The basis of these allegations are now part of the public sphere and Ms. Burrus has been damaged by not having a hearing to clear her name,” the complaint said. “It has damaged her current reputation and will affect any future employment. These findings, without due process, will remain in her personnel jacket and follow her around for the rest of her career.”

The case — what’s known as a “general equity” case — is not seeking damages, but rather that the court intervene to provide an equitable remedy.

Burrus and a Police Department spokesman declined to comment on the case. Her attorneys did not respond to a request for comment Thursday afternoon.

A hearing has been scheduled for March 18.

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