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Posted at 6:52 PM ET, 12/28/2010

Prosecutors drop Marilynn Bland assault charge

By Mike DeBonis

UPDATED 10:15 A.M.

Prosecutors said Tuesday that they will not pursue an assault allegation made against the clerk of the Prince George's County Circuit Court.

The accusation against Marilynn Bland dates to November, when she was serving as a County Council member (D-Clinton). A council employee, W. Randy Short, alleged that Bland had grabbed him and cursed at him after starting a meeting without her present. But investigators did not have enough evidence to corroborate Short's story, said Ramon V. Korionoff, a spokesman for State's Attorney Angela Alsobrooks Glenn F. Ivey.

"After reviewing video evidence and interviewing two credible witnesses, we determined it was in the interest of all parties concerned not to move forward in the case," he said.

The videotape, which was not reviewed by The Washington Post, did not show the alleged incident, Korionoff said, but it did not otherwise provide corroboration for Short's account.

Short, director of the county's Youth Commission, had said the confrontation had taken place in a hallway at the County Administration Building in Upper Marlboro on Nov. 17, shortly after he had started a meeting to swear in new commission members.

Bland became upset, Short said, because he started the 6:30 p.m. commission meeting while she was still in her office. "She grabbed me by my collar, screaming, yelling, cursing," Short said. "She was telling me, 'You're crazy,' 'How dare you start a meeting without me?' 'Who do you think you are?' " Short filed a charge 11 days later.

But cameras did not show evidence of an assault, Korionoff said. "It, in conjunction with the witness statement, led us to believe the case could not be proved in court beyond the reasonable doubt," he said.

Short said Tuesday night that he understood the rationale behind the decision. "I told the truth," he said. "At least there was an attempt to serve justice."

Bland could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.

The allegation against Bland was not related to the ongoing federal corruption probe in the county government that led to the arrest of County Executive Jack B. Johnson and his wife, Leslie, who became a County Council member this month.

Bland, as circuit court clerk, swore in Johnson and her fellow council members at the inauguration ceremony this month.

UPDATE, 12/29, 10:15 A.M.: This post incorrectly identified Korionoff as a spokesman for State's Attorney Angela Alsobrooks. Glenn F. Ivey is currently the county's State's Attorney; Alsobrooks does not take office until Jan. 3.

By Mike DeBonis  | December 28, 2010; 6:52 PM ET
Categories:  Prince George's County  
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