You are on page 1of 5

NEAL M.

JANEY
ATTORNEY-AT-LAW
Post Office Box 1054
Baltimore, Maryland 21203
3801 Canterbury Road Telephone: (410) 340-6616
Baltimore, Maryland 21218 Facsimile: (801) 757-8281

April 20, 2009

VIA HAND DELIVERY

Honorable George Nilson


City Solicitor
City Hall, Room 101
100 Holliday Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21202

Re: Notice of Claims


Officer Mohamed Ali, II
Officer Francis Hamilton
Officer Steven Hatley
Officer Valentine Nagovich, Jr.
Officer Brian Shaffer

Dear Mr. Solicitor:

A. INTRODUCTION

This is a Notice of Claim on behalf of the police officers referenced above and
other officers who are similarly situated.

They are asserting claims against the JoAnn Woodson Branche, the
Baltimore Police Department, police officials, the City of Baltimore and City
officials arising out of apparent improper and illegal actions, practices and policies
of Ms. Branche and others in handling BPD internal investigations, administrative
disciplinary matters, trial boards and court litigation cases over several years.

The nature and extent of those actions, practices and policies did not become
known to the public until after Ms. Branche was fired by the BPD on April 14, 2009.
B. CLAIMANTS

The officers named above acting not only for themselves but also as
representatives of a class of officers similarly situated.

C. REPRESENTATIVES

Neal M. Janey
Attorney-At-Law
P. O. Box 1054
Baltimore, Maryland 21203
Telephone: 410-340-6616
Facsimile: 410-662-9644

and

Robert L. Smith, Jr.


Attorney-At-Law
10 North Calvert Street, Suite 204
Baltimore, Maryland 21203
Telephone: 410-244-1222
Facsimile: 410-244-1333

D. RESPONDENTS

1. JoAnn Woodson Branche


2. Debbie Owens
3. Frederick Bealefeld
4. Charging Committee Members, BPD
5. Trial Board Members, BPD
6. Baltimore Police Department
7. Members, agents, servants, employees and officials of the BPD
8. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, a Municipal Corporation
9. Agents, servants, employees and officials of the City

E. DATES AND PLACES OF INCIDENTS

Beginning in 2006 when Ms. Branche was hired as an assistant city solicitor
and assigned to be trial board counsel of the BPD up to and including the present in
the City of Baltimore, Maryland.
F. NATURE OF CLAIMS

Ms. Branche was hired in 2006 as an assistant city solicitor to handle as


counsel one of the most sensitive and critical operations of any urban police
department, namely, internal investigations, administrative disciplinary matters,
trial boards and related court litigation.

Upon information and belief, around the fall or winter of 2007, Ms. Brown
was fired and terminated from payroll by the BPD for what were apparently
improprieties and other acts of misconduct in handling her work. On the day she
was fired and while being escorted out of Police Department headquarters, she
declared that she was politically connected, her mother would be making some calls
and she would return to her job in three weeks. She returned to work in about three
weeks.

Sometime in the spring of 2008, Ms. Branche was transferred from the
payroll of the Baltimore Law Department, a City agency, to the payroll of the
Baltimore Police Department, a state agency. In December 2008, she was promoted
to the position of a civilian director of the BPD, the equivalent of a Major, a
policymaking position, and given a $30,000.00 pay increase.

Throughout her tenure, Ms. Branche abused her authority and, upon
information and belief, engaged in a pattern and practice of improprieties and other
acts of misconduct with respect to her work, namely, internal investigations,
administrative disciplinary matters, trial boards and related court litigation cases
involving the officers named herein and many others similarly situated apparently
with the knowledge and acquiescence of her superiors and others, and with a
reckless disregard for the statutory rights, constitutional rights and civil rights of
the police officers whose lives and careers she was ruining because her superiors and
others for political reasons and other reasons chose to look the other way and not
perform the duties they owed to police officers and the citizens of Baltimore to train,
oversee, supervise, manage, discipline and terminate her from employment as they
were legally required to do.

Among other things, upon information and belief, she back dated charging
documents; made up and altered evidence; vindictively targeted officers for
discipline and termination; selectively enforced general orders; selectively
prosecuted cases; manipulated trial board schedules; made arbitrary, capricious,
discriminatory and politically motivated decisions about discipline; took arbitrary,
capricious, discriminatory and politically motivated actions and engaged in such
practices regarding discipline; coerced settlements; leaked private and confidential
information; used political connections to be hired and then reinstated after she was
initially fired; and, engaged in other actions, practices, improprieties and acts of
misconduct that have violated, currently violate and will continue for years to come
the statutory rights, constitutional rights, union contract rights and civil rights of
police officers including actions and practices that discriminated against them on
the basis of race, gender, color, age, sexual orientation and national origin.

Officials and employees of the BPD and the City were negligent in hiring Ms.
Branche and grossly negligent in rehiring her after she was first fired.
Those officials and employees knew and should have known what she was doing,
condoned and ratified what she was doing, failed to take corrective action and failed
to take disciplinary action or terminate her from employment sooner.

The actions, practices and policies of Ms. Branche and others were illegal
and violated the rights of the officers, and were the direct and proximate causes of
serious injuries and substantial damages to the officers.

The claims asserted by Claimants include, but are not limited to:

a. Due Process Violations


b. Equal Protection Violations
c. Discrimination
d. Civil Rights Violations
e. Defamation
f. False Light
g. Invasion of Privacy
h. Negligent Hiring
i. Failure to Train
j. Negligent Training
k. Failure to Supervise
l. Negligent Supervision
m. Malicious Prosecution
n. Selective Enforcement
o. Selective Prosecution
p. Violation of Sec. 210401, Violent Crime & Law Enforcement Act
of 1994, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 14141 (Police Misconduct
Provision)
q. Violation of Sec. 809 (c), Omnibus Crime Control & Safe Streets Act
of 1968, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 3789d
r. Violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. Sec.
2000d
s. Violations of U.S. Department of Justice Regulations, 28 C.F.R., Part
42, Subpart C
t. Concealment
u. Civil Conspiracy
G. DAMAGES AND RELIEF

Claimants and others similarly situated have suffered currently suffer and
will continue to suffer in the future severe injuries and substantial damages for
which they are entitled to compensation, punitive damages and other relief.

With respect to relief, Claimants request the following:

1. That liability for the claims be accepted;


2. That Claimants be awarded or granted compensatory damages;
3. That Claimants be awarded or granted punitive damages; and,
4. That Claimants be awarded or granted any further damages and
other relief deemed to be appropriate under the circumstances.

Once liability has been accepted, Claimant are willing to enter into good faith
negotiations with Respondents or their representatives to arrive at an appropriate
settlement of their claims.

H. ATTACHMENTS

None.

I. CONCLUSION

For the reasons stated, Claimants respectfully request the relief as set forth
herein; otherwise, after 5 business days, they will proceed to file a lawsuit.

J. CONTACT

The lead contact person with respect to this Notice of Claim will be Neal M.
Janey. He may be reached at 410-340-6616.

Sincerely,

/S/ Neal M. Janey

Neal M. Janey