Regional Briefing

Bethesda Doctor Acquitted of Assault; Baltimore Fire, Police Pension Troubled, Audit Finds

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

COURTS

Md. Doctor Acquitted of Assault

A Bethesda physician entangled in several criminal disputes was acquitted of one last week. Eric Greenberg, 43, was found not guilty Thursday of a second-degree assault charge, which was based on accusations by a neighbor that Greenberg knocked his tooth out during a dispute outside their residences, according to court records.

Greenberg's attorney, James Papirmeister, said he called three witnesses, all one-time patients of the doctor, who recounted their spats with the neighbor, Michael Hazlett. This bolstered Greenberg's contention that he was defending himself in a fight. Greenberg and his patients have had numerous parking disputes with Hazlett, according to both sides of the dispute.

Greenberg faces another trial next month related to two charges of assaulting a police officer. He has appealed a drug possession conviction, paving the way for a new trial in that case. In April, the Maryland Board of Physicians suspended his medical license. Greenberg, who in the past has had a loyal following of patients, intends to challenge the board's suspension and wants to practice medicine again, Papirmeister said.

-- Dan Morse

BALTIMORE PUBLIC SAFETY

Pension Troubled, Audit Finds

A state audit says Baltimore has no money set aside for future payments to members of its oldest fire and police pension system, but city officials say no one will miss a payment.

The report says the city has no money put aside for future benefits under the pension plan for firefighters and police hired before 1947.

City Finance Director Edward J. Gallagher said the pre-1947 plan has always been a "pay-as-you-go" system. He said not many people are on the plan.

In June, the administration of Mayor Sheila Dixon sponsored legislation to stop future cost-of-living increases for retired police and firefighters to help control the ballooning annual cost of the overall $1.6 billion public safety pension systems.

-- Baltimore Sun


© 2009 The Washington Post Company

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