Wandering Eye: MTA head quietly removed, BPD settles lawsuit, and more

Timothy Ashe, a man who claims to have incurred $55,000 in medical expenses as a result of being punched out by a Baltimore City police officer in Jan. 2011, is set to receive $80,000 in city funds to settle the resulting lawsuit. According to the agenda of the Baltimore City Board of Estimates, which is scheduled to vote on the matter tomorrow, the officer says Ashe "lunged at him with his fist balled" after he refused to comply with an order to sit on a curb in the midst of "a verbal confrontation" in the 400 block of E. Lombard St., so the officer "delivered two strikes" to Ashe's face. The 37-year-old from Randallstown, who has no prior or subsequent criminal record, was charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, but prosecutors declined to pursue the case, court records show. The city seeks to settle the suit "because of the conflicting factual issues, questions regarding probable cause, and objective injuries" suffered by Ashe, as well as the "uncertainties and unpredictability of jury verdicts." (Van Smith)


The head of the Maryland Transit Administration was quietly removed last week, according to The Brew. Robert L. Smith was CEO of the MTA since 2013. He had an earlier tenure in 2002-2003, before Maryland's last Republican governor, Robert Ehrlich, replaced him. He's being temporarily replaced by Senior Deputy Administrator Ron Barnes, the Brew reports. The MTA has seen a bit of controversy. Ridership is below projections, city bus service is spotty, and a long-planned revamp called the Bus Network Improvement Project appears to be stalled, the Brew says. Then there's the audits, which reported a guy under criminal investigation for a weird contract involving Towson University, and about $10 million in fuel overpayments to paratransit vendors. (Edward Ericson Jr.)


The Washington Post has a compelling profile of Ben Barlow, whose wife Monica, the head of public relations for the Baltimore Orioles, succumbed to lung cancer in early 2014. Because of the strenuous nature of Monica's job, the Barlows spent lots of time together at the ballpark and they planned many of their vacations around Orioles road trips. When Monica died in February, Ben found comfort in the flow and routine of the baseball season. "It just stays there. No matter whether things are going well or going poorly, the season's just rolling along," he tells the Post. The O's eventually won the A.L. East and made a playoff run to the ALCS, but when that was over, there was a deeper sense of loss for Barlow. "I just started feeling the weight of the year, and the weight of the past five [years] and thinking about going home to an empty house," he said. But now a new season is upon us, and that means Barlow is once again finding comfort in the game. (Brandon Weigel)

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