Mayor will pursue lawsuit over raid
Defense attorneys requested case to be delayed until after DOJ investigation
A lawsuit filed by Berwyn Heights Mayor Cheye Calvo against the Prince George's County police and sheriff departments regarding a raid of his home will be allowed to go forward concurrent with an investigation of the incident by the U.S. Department of Justice, a county Circuit Court judge ruled Friday.
Calvo's home was raided in July 2008 after a 32-pound package containing marijuana was delivered to his home. The county sheriff's department raided the home, killing Calvo's two dogs in the process. Police later said Calvo and his family were innocent victims in a drug delivery scheme in which someone was supposed to pick up the package before it was received by the family.
Attorneys for county and the sheriff's department argued the lawsuit should be delayed until the DOJ finishes its investigation so that defendants involved could avoid potential self-incrimination.
Calvo's lawsuit, which also includes his wife, Trinity Tomsic, and Tomsic's mother, Georgia Porter, was filed in June against Prince George's County Sheriff Michael Jackson; Shawn Scarlata, the lead detective in the Prince George's County Police Department's narcotics enforcement division; the state of Maryland; Prince George's County; and two "John Doe" deputy sheriffs, whose names have yet to be released to Calvo.
Calvo said he and his attorneys have been denied even basic documents related to the case since the incident.
"I don't even have a police report yet," he said Friday after the ruling. "I just want to get the facts on the table; it's been 17 months."
Circuit Court Judge Arthur M. Ahalt said any instances in which defendants may have to testify against themselves will be dealt with in the court as they arise.
"Any of the Fifth Amendment issues, if any, can be dealt with on a piecemeal basis," he said, after his ruling.
A hearing for the case could be scheduled as early as Jan. 26.