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Carroll County commander charged with misconduct during murder investigation

The chief investigator for the Carroll County Sheriff’s Department lied to prosecutors and gave false testimony in two related homicide cases, according to misdemeanor misconduct-in-office charges Maryland State Prosecutor Emmet C. Davitt filed Wednesday.

The charging documents, filed in Carroll County Circuit Court, allege that Maj. Nicholas Plazio, commander of the department’s criminal investigations division, provided false information to Carroll County State’s Attorney Jerry F. Barnes and falsely testified at the trials last year of Cassandra Glover and Russell Scott Laderer.

Laderer was charged with murder in the September 2010 killing of Jeremiah DeMario and Glover was charged as an accessory after the fact.

Barnes later dropped the charges in both cases after much of the state’s evidence was ruled inadmissible.

“Any law enforcement officer, let alone a commander of a criminal investigations unit, must be held to the highest standards of conduct and integrity,” Davitt said in a statement explaining the allegations. “False reports and false testimony are never acceptable under any circumstances and cannot be tolerated.”

The Associated Press reported Wednesday afternoon that Plazio had resigned from the sheriff’s office.

The underlying case has also led to a defamation action against the Carroll County Times, which reported that a prosecutor had given false testimony at a hearing in Glover’s case.

Former Assistant State’s Attorney David P. Daggett says he testified truthfully and was fired based on the paper’s false characterization of his statements in its news report and an editorial. His action survived the paper’s motion to dismiss in November.