Md. touts Prince George’s County for FBI site

April 11, 2013
THE REGION
Pr. George’s touted by Md. for FBI site

As Maryland, Virginia and the District all vie to be the next home of the FBI, Maryland’s members of Congress are trying to boost their bid by coalescing around one potential site — Prince George’s County.

Sens. Benjamin L. Cardin (D) and Barbara A. Mikulski (D) of Maryland and all eight of the state’s U.S. House members have signed a letter to the heads of the FBI and the General Services Administration endorsing Prince George’s as the best possible location for the bureau’s next headquarters.

The move comes after Montgomery County officials, having considered their own bid for the FBI, decided to back out of the competition.

“We understand that competition for this facility will be fierce among the region’s jurisdictions, but we firmly believe that an honest analysis of the cost of operations, security, convenience of location for staff, transportation options, and the promotion of regional equity in federal facility distribution should make Maryland the choice location for the FBI,” the delegation wrote.

Although no final location in Prince George’s has been selected, top leaders in the county are backing a plan to put the FBI near the Greenbelt Metro Station.

Virginia lawmakers are pushing hard to bring the bureau to their state, but their bid is complicated somewhat by the fact that multiple counties are eager to attract the FBI. The District, meanwhile, has proposed building a new FBI headquarters on a portion of the Poplar Point property in Southeast.

— Ben Pershing

MARYLAND
Brown to announce run for governor

Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D), who has been eyeing a bid for governor next year, plans to launch his campaign next month.

An invitation from Brown that has started to circulate asks supporters to save the date of May 10 for a “very special announcement” at Prince George’s Community College in Largo.

Brown, a former delegate from Prince George’s, will be joined at the event by “a host of elected officials, community leaders and citizens from around Maryland,” according to the invitation.

It appears Brown will be the first to make his bid official among a competitive field of Democrats seeking to succeed Gov. Martin O’Malley (D). The primary is in June 2014.

Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler (D), who is sitting on a much larger bank account than other hopefuls, is widely expected to run. Howard County Executive Ken Ulman (D) and Del. Heather Mizeur (D-Montgomery) are also taking a strong look at the race.

A spokeswoman also confirmed Thursday that U.S. Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D), a former Baltimore County executive, is considering the race.

Republicans looking at the 2014 governor’s race include Harford County Executive David R. Craig (R), Frederick County Commissioner Blaine R. Young (R) and former Ehrlich Cabinet secretary Larry Hogan, who now runs the group Change Maryland.

— John Wagner

The District
Defense in Levy case seeks 911 recording

Attorneys for Ingmar Guandique, the man convicted of killing federal intern Chandra Levy, on Thursday asked a D.C. Superior Court judge to order prosecutors to release a 911 call made by one of Levy’s neighbors in her Northwest apartment building who allegedly told the operator of hearing a “bloodcurdling scream.”

At the hearing before D.C. Superior Court Judge Gerald I. Fisher, Guandique’s lawyers said a recording of the 911 call, as well as the D.C. police radio run, were not given to them at the time of their client’s 2010 trial. In that trial, prosecutors had argued Guandique killed Levy on May 1, 2001, while she was on a jog in Rock Creek Park. It was unclear whether the prosecutors themselves had the recordings at the time of the trial.

In recent hearings, Guandique’s lawyers, with the District’s Public Defender Service, have said their client deserves a new trial, but they have not filed a formal request. In addition to the 911 call, the attorneys also have argued that new information they received from the prosecutors in December about the government’s main witness, Armando Morales, merits a new trial. Morales was a former cellmate of Guandique’s who testified that Guandique confessed to him that he killed Levy.

It is unclear what new information about Morales was provided to defense attorneys. Fisher restricted the public release of those details after prosecutors said they had safety concerns for Morales.

Guandique, 30, was convicted of first-degree murder charges after an eight-week trial.

— Keith L. Alexander

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