Michael Guill, a former deputy in the Prince George's County Sheriff's Department, was recalling in court the day his supervisors told him about a "deputy of the year banquet" that Sheriff Don E. Ansell was planning because the day of the banquet fell right around the time Guill wanted to take four days off.
A few days before the banquet, when he went to pick up his paycheck, Guill said, his supervisors told him that any deputies who did not purchase tickets to the event would have to work 16-hour shifts.
"I didn't feel like working," Guill testified yesterday in the second day of trial for Ansell, who is charged with misappropriating nearly $2,000 in funds earmarked for that banquet. So he purchased two tickets at $10 a piece, he said.
Guill, now employed by the newly-created County Department of Corrections, was one of three deputies who testified yesterday that the threat of having to work made them feel intimidated and resulted in their purchasing tickets to the Sept. 10, 1976, event.
Later, Lt. James Bostwick testified that as deputies came in to pick up their paychecks he asked them if they had purchased any banquet tickets. He testified that he kept a list of those who had yet to buy tickets at the request of Maj. Guy Williams, who was indicated with Ansell in connection with the banquet allegations.
The purpose of the list was to keep track of which deputies would be "available to work at the jail" on the day of the banquet, Bostwick said.
Yesterday's testimony revealed that some of the deputies were unsure of who was sponsoring the banquet - whether it was Ansell personally or the sheriff's department - and uncertain what to expect at the banquet, billed as an awards banquet to honor certain deputies.
When one witness was asked by defense attorney Victor Houlon whether the banquet turned out to be what he expected, the witness, Gerald Rice, complained, "They said it would be held at the Sheraton (Lanham). When we got there it was in a garage . . . The band . . . nobody seemed to like, and you couldn't dance because the dance floor was on a slope . . . my party and I left."
Other witnesses said they anticipated an evening of food, drink and dancing, and that's what they got.
Ansell went on trial Monday on charges of puttings to personal use $1,920 of the money collected for the banquet. He then allegedly failed to report the money on his state income tax and lied to a grand jury about it.
Testimony yesterday revealed that at least five members of the sheriff's department collected ticket money. No receipts were handed out to purchasers, however, and none of the witnesses said that they had paid the sheriff directly or had even discussed their ticket purchase with him.
Most of the witnesses said they had no idea where the ticket money was kept, although one woman testified that some of the cash was kept in an unlocked drawer in the Upper Mariboro courthouse meeting room for sheriff's deputies.
Assistant State's Attorney Robert Bonsibb called 65 witnesses yesterday, all of them current or former employes of the sheriff's department, who had bought tickets to the banquet. On a large sketchbook marked "Cash Income," Bonsibb kept score of how many tickets each witness said he or she purchased and how much money was collected. So far, the prosecution has accounted for $1,270.
Bonsibb was to continue to call current or former deputies to the stand today.
The prosecution alleges that more money was collected for the banquet than the affair actually cost. Sources close to the investigation, which resulted in Ansell's indictment, said there is evidence that the money was used to pay the private school tuition of Ansell's children's. At the same time, Ansell also was making payments on country property, a boat, and a backyard pool, the prosecution alleges.