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Top 5: ‘It’s another step in getting this horrific experience behind us’

The Daily Record’s top stories this week were led by our legal affairs reporters, and included several cases. One article told the story of a school aide who contracted the HIV virus after being bitten by a student; another dealt with the ex-CFO of Maryland Legal Aid, who was sentenced this week for embezzling from the nonprofit.

1. Lawyer charged with criminal conflict

Federal prosecutors in Maryland have charged a former government lawyer with criminal conflict of interest and another crime for not disclosing he had an outside law practice and representing a company seeking a government contract.

Jeffrey Ross Williams, a Potomac resident, faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $500,000 fine if convicted on both counts, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

2. Ex-CFO of Maryland Legal Aid sentenced to 30 months

A tearful Benjamin L. “Bennie” King Jr. apologized to his family and former employer Legal Aid before being sentenced to 30 months in prison Tuesday for embezzling more than $1 million from the organization over a decade.

A federal judge in Baltimore sentenced the former chief financial officer of the Maryland Legal Aid Bureau to the shorter end of the 30-37 month guideline range, based on a recommendation from federal prosecutors.

King asked the court for mercy in his sentence.

3. 4 Aces Bail Bonds’ owners to plead guilty

The father-and-son team behind one of Baltimore’s largest bail bond services will plead guilty next week to federal charges filed against them, their lawyers confirmed.

Milton Tillman Jr. and Milton Tillman III of 4 Aces Bail Bonds Inc. are scheduled to be in U.S. District Court in Baltimore on Wednesday afternoon, according to a notice of a hearing filed Thursday. The Tillmans were indicted in February on multiple counts of tax, insurance and wire fraud 18 months after federal agents raided their homes and offices.

4. Bitten HIV-positive aide sues school after termination

A child care provider fired from a private Eastern Shore school for the disabled has sued the facility under the Americans with Disabilities Act, saying administrators terminated him after he disclosed he has HIV.

In papers filed by his attorney in federal court, Teran Goldsborough said he made the disclosure in February 2009 after he was bitten on the hand by a student with a mental disability at The Benedictine School for Exceptional Children.

5. Maryland’s top 10 verdicts of 2010

Maryland’s largest verdicts in 2010 vaulted over most of the biggest from 2009.

But none came close to the size of last year’s No. 1 verdict — a $150 million award to 88 Jacksonville families who sued ExxonMobil Corp. for a massive gas leak at their local gas station.

In fact, despite the increased size of 2010’s verdicts, altogether the top ten don’t add up to that $150 million payout.