Captain Charged with DUI
(Harford County, MD) — On Thursday April 1, 2004, Harford County States Attorney Joseph I. Cassilly has filed a Criminal Information in Harford County District Court charging Captain Dan Scott, 60, of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office with driving while impaired, passing in a no passing zone, and speeding. Scott, a Captain at the Harford County Detention Center, was stopped for exceeding the speed limit on Friday March 12, 2004, at 8:50pm by DFC Charles Sadowski on Rt. 24 near Coen Road, in Street, Maryland. Upon stopping the vehicle, an odor of alcohol was detected about his person. At the time, the deputy made a decision not to arrest the Captain.
Through the Command Staff notification process, Sheriff R. Thomas Golding was notified of the incident and that the Captain had been taken home. Even though the Captain was not charged with any offense at that time Sheriff Golding considered the information received to be a serious breach of judgment by the Captain. He was disciplined internally on Monday March 15th.
Sheriff Golding then ordered a review of this incident. It was determined DFC Sadowski extended a courtesy to the Captain. He elected not to charge him with any violations. On March 25, 2004, Sheriff Golding asked Mr. Cassilly to review the facts surrounding the Captain’s actions that evening. On March 30th, Mr. Cassilly met with DFC Sadowski, and his field supervisor, Cpl. Kevin Thomas. Each of the deputies detailed the events surrounding the stop that evening. Mr. Cassilly determined DFC Sadowski made the decision not to cite Captain Scott with any violations. As a result of this discussion, Mr. Cassilly deemed sufficient evidence existed that Captain Scott should be charged with the aforementioned traffic charges. On April 1, Mr. Cassilly filed the Criminal Information in District Court. Captain Scott has been notified of the pending charges.
Sheriff Golding said Mr. Cassilly’s review of the matter was fair and impartial and agrees with his recommendation and decision to cite Captain Scott with the traffic violations. In addition to the traffic charges Captain Scott has been demoted to the rank of Lieutenant. Mr. Cassilly also concurred with Sheriff Golding that the decision made by DFC Sadowski was neither illegal nor a violation of agency policy. “The Sheriff’s request for my review was a logical step available to him”, said Mr. Cassilly.
Sheriff Golding said it is clearly understood that the public perceives such decisions negatively, that they have far-reaching ramifications and that police and corrections officers are not above the law. Therefore, the Sheriff said, that he and members of his Command Staff, would be examining agency policy relative to these rare instances. Sheriff Golding did indicate however that the ability of a deputy to make a decision is an essential tool of a law enforcement officer. Only in special circumstances should their ability to render decisions be limited.
A court date has not yet been assigned. Scott will be temporarily reassigned to a non-supervisory position pending the outcome of the court case.