Md. police officials indicted over funds

/ Source: The Associated Press

Maryland’s police superintendent was indicted on federal charges of using Baltimore police money to finance affairs and pay for personal trips while he was the city police commissioner, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Indicted with Edward Norris was his former chief of staff at the Baltimore Police Department, John Stendrini. They are accused of misusing about $20,000 between May 2000 and August 2002 from a Depression-era charity account set up to benefit police officers.

“The defendants repeatedly used the fund as if it were their own ATM,” U.S. Attorney Thomas DiBiagio said at a news conference.

Norris was the Baltimore police commissioner from 2000 through 2002, when he left to join Maryland State Police. The indictment charges him with using the money “to finance his affairs with numerous different women and to pay for luxury hotels, expensive meals, clothing and gifts from Victoria’s Secret and other stores,” according to written statement released by DiBiagio’s office.

Norris is also accused of lying on a mortgage application to a municipal employees’ credit union.

Norris’ attorney did not respond to phone calls Wednesday to his office and cell phone seeking comment.

Norris has been under investigation since early this year for activities during his tenure as the city’s police commissioner. The indictments were unsealed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

Norris is charged with one count each of conspiracy to misapply funds, misapplication of funds and making a false statement in a mortgage application. Stendrini is charged with one count each of conspiracy to misapply funds, misapplication of funds and obstruction of justice.

Norris and Stendrini were expected to surrender Thursday morning to federal marshals and make initial appearances before a federal magistrate later that day.

If convicted of all charges, Norris would face a maximum sentence of 45 years. Stendrini would face a maximum sentence of 25 years.