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Tardy drivers cause judge to lose patience

May 27, 2004|by PEPPER BALLARD

pepperb@herald-mail.com

After two drivers bringing youths to Washington County juvenile court from out of the county didn't make it on time for their passengers' appearances Wednesday, a judge said he would write the state Department of Juvenile Services to complain about its management.

The state agency "is currently in disarray," said Washington County Circuit Judge Donald E. Beachley, sitting in juvenile court. "This is no way to run a system involving children."

A man driving a youth to court Wednesday from the Thomas O'Farrell Center in Carroll County, Md., said he was late because he had to wait for another staff member to take over watching 11 other youths there.

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A man driving a youth from an Eastern Shore detention facility explained his tardiness by saying he wasn't told until about 10 minutes before he planned to depart to transport youths to other locations that he was to bring a youth to Washington County.

Both drivers arrived about two hours after juvenile court went into session. The driver from the Eastern Shore facility arrived before the driver from Carroll County.

Beachley said drivers transporting adults rarely have problems arriving for court on time.

Beachley said employees with the Washington County Department of Juvenile Services do a good job. But he said the state department will hear from him.

"Leadership starts with the leaders," he said.

Beachley said he would write a letter to state Department of Juvenile Services Secretary Kenneth C. Montague Jr. about the situation.

"This is no way to run any system. I have been very patient for many years and I'm tired of it," he said.

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