A Baltimore County police sergeant who was accused of conspiring with his wife to steal from a Towson credit union was acquitted of all charges Wednesday, as a judge called parts of the prosecution's case "absolutely absurd."
Sgt. Daniel Galloway, a member of the Police Department since 1997, faced 10 charges, including theft and conspiracy to commit theft.
His wife, Tina, who was CEO of HealthCare United Federal Credit Union, has admitted to embezzling from the institution, and pleaded guilty last year to one count of theft over $100,000.
Circuit Judge Mickey Norman said prosecutors had presented no evidence that the police officer conspired with his wife, and granted a defense motion to acquit him on all charges.
"Quite frankly, I think that the police investigation in this matter was terrible," Norman said.
Galloway, 41, of Fallston, chose a bench trial rather than a jury trial.
The trial began Tuesday. Assistant State's Attorney Adam Lippe accused Daniel Galloway of a conspiracy with his wife, saying he had motive to steal because the couple was drowning in debt.
But Norman said there was "no indication whatsoever" of a conspiracy.
Lippe declined to comment after the trial.
Daniel Galloway's attorney, Brian Thompson, said the acquittal was "a total and complete vindication."
"This prosecution was a disgrace," Thompson said. "There was literally not a shred of evidence that he committed these crimes, and the judge agreed."
The sergeant has been suspended without pay since he was charged last year. Thompson said he has lived "under a cloud of suspicion."
"We're now looking at the possibility of filing a malicious prosecution suit against the state's attorney's office," he said. He said he believes there were "internal police politics involved in the charging and prosecution of this case."
During opening statements, Thompson said Galloway has worked for a security company that competes with Wolf Professional Security, headed by Detective Brian Wolf, the detective on Galloway's criminal case.
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Thompson also pointed to Lippe's employment with Wolf Professional Security. Lippe is listed as an instructor on the firm's website.
Galloway was assigned to the county's tactical unit before his suspension. His salary was more than $99,000 last year, according to public employee records.
The police department now will move Galloway to an administrative suspension, and he will receive back pay, spokeswoman Elise Armacost said. Galloway is to remain on administrative suspension during an internal investigation.