THE DISTRICT

Driver released: Thomas Davis, the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority driver charged with hitting two children in his pickup in Northwest Washington on Thursday, was released on his personal recognizance yesterday and ordered to reappear in Superior Court on April 1, according to the D.C. Office of the Corporation Counsel.

Davis, 47, was charged with leaving the scene and other misdemeanors after allegedly striking the children, ages 23 months and 9 months, in their stroller at Georgia and New Hampshire avenues NW. Both children were hospitalized. David pleaded not guilty Saturday.

VIRGINIA

Charges stand: A U.S. District Court judge in Richmond said yesterday that he will deny motions to dismiss the federal eavesdropping case against Edmund A. Matricardi III, the former Virginia Republican Party official who listened in on two Democratic conference calls a year ago.

Judge James R. Spencer said Matricardi's trial on felony charges of violating the U.S. Wiretap Act will begin as scheduled April 9.

Lawyers for Matricardi told Spencer during a hearing yesterday that the telephone conferences constituted "open meetings" under the state's Freedom of Information Act and that Matricardi was legally entitled to monitor and record the calls last March 22 and 25.

Federal prosecutors said the state statute did not supercede the federal wiretap law, adding that state law on public access did not give Matricardi the right to surreptitiously monitor the Democratic calls. Spencer said from the bench that he will issue a memorandum formally rejecting Matricardi's motions to dismiss.

Matricardi, the Virginia GOP's former executive director, will be tried on five Wiretap Act violations. Each federal count carries a maximum of five years in prison and $250,000 in fines upon conviction. Matricardi has pleaded not guilty.

Compiled from reports by staff writers.