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City awards $60K in back-pay to officer cleared of soliciting a minor

Baltimore's spending panel voted 4-1 Wednesday to award $60,000 in back-pay to a city officer who had been suspended without pay while facing sexual abuse charges in Howard County.

The Board of Estimates approved the payment to Officer Charles W. Hagee, 45, of Columbia. He remains on the city's police force. Police said Wednesday he is now on a paid suspension and assigned to administrative duties.

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"The charges were disposed of in his favor," said City Solicitor George Nilson. "People in that position may face other administrative charges internally. But once charges are disposed of in your favor, you are entitled to back pay."

City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young voted against the deal.

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Hagee was suspended without pay on March 20 of 2014 after he was charged with sexual abuse and solicitation of a minor by Howard County police. Investigators accused him of communicating with a 14-year-old girl advertising prostitution services online and engaging in sexual activity on three occasions between January and May 2013.

Hagee was reinstated to pay status within the department on Jan. 20. The charges no longer appear in an online database of state court cases.

Hagee could not immediately be reached for comment.

Prior to his suspension, Hagee was assigned to the Special Enforcement Section, an elite unit that investigates violent crimes. City records show that Hagee earned more than double his base salary in fiscal year 2013, with gross pay of $138,800 on a base salary of $65,200. In fiscal year 2012, he earned about $130,800 on $64,600 base pay.

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