Oops: Mayor Clarence “Du” Burns, who took over William Donald Schaefer’s seat on the second floor of City Hall after Schaefer was elected Governor of Maryland, got off on the wrong foot in his campaign to keep the office.
Terry Taylor, Burns’ campaign coordinator, resigned after admitting that he had defaulted on $470,000 in state and city loans to assist his firm, Mal-Mar Industries, a manufacturer of disposable garments. A civil suit charged Taylor with diverting $140,000 of that money to personal use, and he was facing criminal fraud and malfeasance charges.
Henry Knott Sr., a member of Burns’ campaign committee, stepped in to say that the committee, not Burns, had appointed Taylor. But he also said that if Burns did not know about Taylor’s default of city loans, “he shouldn’t be mayor.”
Grand theft bunny: Someone broke into A.F. Bialzak & Sons Florists in the 1000 block S. Kenwood Ave. and made off with more than $300 in goods, including a window display featuring two mechanical Easter bunnies. Also missing was a Sony stereo receiver.
Sound familiar? The Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. warned residents not to let scammers posing as BG&E workers into their homes. A company spokesman said that impostors might be “professional flim-flam artists who travel the East Coast seasonally.” Once inside, they could demand an exorbitant fee for furnace inspection, or simply rob the homeowner. The spokesman reminded customers that all BG&E employees carry ID with their name, photo and employee number, and urged residents to call police if anyone came to their door, claimed to be a utility employee and could not show the ID card.
U.S. District Judge Charles R. Richey said that federal funds given to church groups and schools under the “chastity act” were an unconstitutional breach of the separation of church and state. The Adolescent Family Life Act was passed in 1981 by Congress in an attempt to promote abstinence among teenagers and provided funds to a variety of organizations, including churches and church schools, for sex and pregnancy counseling.
Former delegate George Santoni pleaded guilty to a drug charge in federal court. Santoni admitted brokering a cocaine deal two years before. The guilty plea was part of a plea bargain that dropped other charges including racketeering and tax evasion.
Federal prosecutors said that Santoni was part of a crime organization, headed by Gaetano “Tommy” Vastola in New Jersey, that specialized in loansharking, drug trafficking, gambling and other criminal pursuits.
Prosecutors said that Santoni engineered a drug deal for 10 kilos of cocaine for which he received a broker’s fee of more than $3,000.