Thursday, May 9, 2013
Two former firefighters and a police officer could return to light duty as a result of the agreement.
Baltimore County officials said Thursday that they have settled three disability lawsuits with two firefighters and a police officer. "These settlements honor these employees for their past service while also ensuring that firefighters and police officers who serve the residents of Baltimore County are working in jobs that match their physical abilities for the safety of all," wrote Baltimore County Attorney Michael Field in a statement on the county's blog Thursday. "Residents of Baltimore County demand no less than this." As part of the settlement, the county does not admit any liability. In September, firefighters Donald Becker and Stanley Kuklinski and police Lt. Michael Lauenstein field lawsuits seeking $2.3 million in damages and …
Thursday, September 6, 2012
Three cases filed Wednesday come a month after the county settled ten claims in a Department of Justice lawsuit.
County officials said three new disability lawsuits filed in federal court are without merit and that its policies on requiring medical testing for some employees will be vindicated. In a rare comment on pending litigation, Don Mohler, a county spokesman, said the county has done nothing wrong and he believes the county will ultimately win all three cases. "We don't think these lawsuits have any merit," said Mohler. "We stand by the county's policies and procedures. We don't think that we've done anything wrong and we'll make that case again." Firefighters Donald Becker and Stanley Kuklinski and police Lt. Michael Lauenstein are each seeking $2.3 million in damages and additional legal fees. All three claim they were forced to undergo …
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Two firefighters and a police officer who were fired file suit one month after the county settled ten other cases.
Two firefighters and a police officer filed suit against Baltimore County claiming they were forced out of their jobs after being forced to submit to what they claim were illegal medical tests. The cases, filed in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, come one month after the county settled ten similar cases as part of a consent decree with the Department of Justice. Kathleen Cahill, a Towson attorney who is representing the three public safety officers, was not immediately available for comment. Cahill was also the attorney in the 10 cases the county settled in August. Stay with Patch for updates on this article.
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Consent decree filed in federal court includes $500,000 in damages and fees and requires three years of monitoring by the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission.
UPDATE (2:18 p.m.)—Baltimore County will pay more than $500,000 in compensatory damages to nine county employees who alleged the county subjected them to illegal medical reviews and a 10th who advised the county that such exams might be illegal, according to a federal consent decree made public today. The medical reviews of the employees—ordered by the county—included fitness-for-duty and pre-hiring screenings that were then used to fire or force the retirement of some employees or exclude prospective employees from being hired. The consent decree alleges that the county used those tests, dating back to 2006, to engage in a "pattern and practice of discrimination." “The result of the county’s discriminatory policies and practices was to …
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
New interview process aims to make the Baltimore County police more responsible, accountable for selecting its leaders.
Baltimore County Police Chief Jim Johnson threw out a more than three-decades old promotions policy just days before a class of sergeants was to take standardized oral interviews to become lieutenants. The change comes amid a looming U.S. Department of Justice inquiry into the county's hiring and promotions practices within the police and fire departments. The change involves who interviews prospective candidates for promotion. Until now, interviews had been conducted by outside law enforcement personnel. Now, those interviews will be conducted by officials who work for Baltimore County. "I have not determined the motivation of the administration as to why this change was instituted," said Cole Weston, president of the Fraternal Order of …
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
A Department of Justice letter requests information on minority hiring in police and fire departments.
Baltimore County's police and fire departments are being investigated for possible discriminatory hiring practices. The county was notified of the investigation Jan. 30 in a two-page letter from the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division that was obtained by Patch. County Executive Kevin Kamenetz apparently acknowledged receiving the letter in a 10-page letter to Rep. Elijah Cummings, according to the Baltimore Sun, which first reported the probe. In the letter, Kamenetz "acknowledged that women and minorities have been "underrepresented" in the fire department and in some sections of the police department," The Sun reported. Don Mohler, a county spokesman and Kamenetz's chief of staff, declined to release the letter to …