Pubdate: Tue, 15 Jun 2010
Source: Frederick News Post (MD)
Copyright: 2010 Randall Family, LLC.
Author: Kate Leckie, News-Post Staff
Bookmark: (Corruption - United States)


Officer First Class Megan Mattingly has been reassigned to
administrative duties while authorities investigate allegations she
committed perjury.

Charges have been dropped against nine defendants in drug cases since
allegations surfaced that a Frederick Police Department officer
perjured herself on the witness stand during a May 20 preliminary
hearing, according to court records.

In addition, a 10th case, previously concluded with the sentencing of
a defendant, has been reopened so a Frederick woman can try to
withdraw her Alford plea of guilt, records state. An Alford plea is
not an admission of guilt, but an acknowledgment that had the case
proceeded to trial, the state had sufficient evidence to convict.

Officer First Class Megan Mattingly, a member of the city police
agency's drug enforcement unit, has been reassigned to administrative
duties while authorities investigate allegations she committed
perjury, authorities said last week.

Mattingly testified she saw things she herself did not witness, but
that a neighbor reported to police, defense attorney Norman C. Usiak

Frederick Police Chief Kim Dine reassigned Mattingly on May

On May 18, Shaccara Janay Goines was ordered to serve two months and
29 days of a five-year sentence for the manufacture and distribution
of marijuana, according to court documents stemming from charges filed
by Mattingly.

On May 20, District Judge W. Milnor Roberts tossed out felony drug
charges against Harry L. Coleman Jr., 41, of Sykesville, in a case not
related to the Goines matter.

After a cross-examination by defense attorney Norman C. Usiak, in
which Mattingly admitted to testifying falsely under oath, Roberts
ruled the officer's testimony was not credible.

Within days, criminal cases involving Mattingly started getting
dropped from court calendars.

Between May 25 and June 8, nine other defendants had drug charges
dropped against them in cases in which Mattingly, a five-year veteran,
either filed their charging documents or was a chief witness, a review
of Mattingly's 172 cases revealed Monday.

Mattingly will remain out of uniform handling administrative tasks
pending the outcome of the investigation, which is the department's
general practice when allegations of wrongdoing are raised.

The officer's annual pay of $50,245 and benefits remain

Lt. Clark Pennington, spokesman for the Frederick Police Department,
said the agency will review its policies and procedures related to its
drug unit and its training academy in light of the allegations
involving Mattingly.

"As in any situation that arises, we're constantly reviewing our
general orders to see if anything needs to be changed or adjusted,"
Pennington said.

He wouldn't address Mattingly's court testimony that officers are
taught to always write charging documents in the first person, whether
they witnessed something firsthand or were reporting activity
witnessed by someone else.

"That's part of an open investigation into an internal matter," he

The Frederick Police Department has asked the Montgomery County Police
Department to investigate what happened.

Mattingly's attorney, Patrick J. McAndrew, continued to say Monday
that he will launch a vigorous defense.

No criminal charges have been filed.

The week after the ruling in the Coleman case, Goines' attorney filed
motions for a new trial and to withdraw her Alford plea of guilt. The
attorney, assistant Public Defender Margaret A. Teahan, could not be
reached for comment.