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County Owes Police Detective Hundreds of Thousands in Back Pay

Federal court strikes down county appeal.

Baltimore County will have to pay a police detective $225,000 in back pay plus interest and will likely owe thousands more in legal fees after a federal court denied the county's appeal last month.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit threw out a portion of the County's appeal of liability because the County failed to renew a motion post-verdict.

The court did review the county's appeal that the award by the federal jury was excessive.

"Our review of the record leads us to conclude that the district court did not abuse its discretion," according to the opinion issued by the three judge panel.

The resolution means the county will have to pay Det. William Blake $225,000 plus interest for the April 2010 jury decision. The county and Kathleen Cahill, Blake's attorney, will negotiate legal fees, which the county must now pay.

Blake sued after he was ordered to undergo medical tests after he testified on behalf of another officer who had a seizure.

Blake said he had also suffered from a single seizure in 1996. The county required Blake to undergo medical exams to establish his fitness for duty following his testimony on behalf of the other officer.

Blake lost no wages in his original lawsuit. A jury awarded him damages for emotional distress and the county appealed.

Buzz Beeler December 17, 2011 at 05:49 AM
Dkennylee, in my book you are a good man and I hope that you continue your path. For me each year that passed was another badge of self respect I earned. I have a lot of problems with cops and I was one. It all starts at the top. Politics and police work don't mix well. In the old days you used a night stick and people really got hurt. When you get surrounded and you're the only one wearing a uniform you got a problem. Domestics are very similar. When you arrive to separate the combatants who are trying to kill each other, they will turn on you. The spray is the most effective and least harmful way of crowd control. These things can get out of hand pretty quick and when they do, a whole lotta people can get hurt. This is a city school but the county schools have had similar ones. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyslYXjOLJs Hope Santa brings you some good stuff. I asked for my golf game back but even Santa can't help me there.
Karen Hayes Thier December 18, 2011 at 07:03 AM
Chesapeake, where pepper spray was used, is in Baltimore County not City. Doesn't make a difference where school is located, the police officer handled the situation appropriately. All need to remember if the fighters had respected police officer & staff, pepper spray wouldn't have been needed. Two warnings given and the fight kept going. Then after fighter pepper sprayed, he took off running. That is why the pepper spray fumes spread. Fighter is responsible for injurying others, as he still couldn't follow warngings, directions from police officer or staff. Yeah, I've mixed an orange in with the apple & took comment elsewhere. Thanks for reading anyway.
Buzz Beeler December 18, 2011 at 07:16 AM
Karen, school violence has no boundaries. The clip was meant to show how quickly these issues can get out of hand and people get hurt. I also showed another clip of a shooting in a county high school. My earlier comments were very clear on both the issues of the officer and the use of the spray. He acted within the proper protocol. The spray did what is was designed to do and that is break up crowds or subdue unruly people without causing serious injuries. We basically had the same viewpoint.
Buck Harmon December 18, 2011 at 03:34 PM
I believe that a more passive, tolerant approach is as effective with no violence. A rehearsed and practiced "presence" could solve problems rather than add insult to injury. The only REAL excuse for the use of these dangerous chemicals is lack of education and proper training.... the easy way out if you will...
Lorna D. Rudnikas December 19, 2011 at 02:36 AM
Proper training might be use of "karate" but that would mean the unthinkable....your passive tolerant approach is wonderful in a perfect world. Having a school desk cracked over your head is the kind of "insult" that could be avoided, possibly, if you can passively talk fast enough.

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