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Former Hancock police chief's compensation claim rejected

March 20, 2006|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

WASHINGTON COUNTY

A district judge has rejected a former Hancock police chief's claim for back compensation.

Donald R. Gossage asked for $5,000, the maximum he could have asked for in Washington County District Court.

However, Frederick County District Judge Oliver John Cejka Jr., sitting in Washington County District Court, denied the claim last week and dismissed the case, according to court records.

Gossage was a 24-year veteran of the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department when he took over as Hancock's police chief in 1996.

However, last March, the town dismissed him from his job. Town officials did not publicly give a reason.

Gossage, who listed a Georgia address in court papers, did not return a call for comment Friday afternoon.

Attorney Thomas F. Huse of Columbia, Md., who defended the town on behalf of Local Government Insurance Trust, declined to comment.

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A copy of Gossage's contract included with court papers says Hancock was to pay him $36,688 for fiscal year 2002. His salary was to increase in successive years to $40,488, then $42,371, then $44,432.

In a complaint filed on Nov. 13, 2005, Gossage said that although his contract ran through June 2005, the town stopped paying him on Feb. 1, 2004.

He alleged that the town owes him a total of more than $3,700 in unpaid salary for fiscal years 2004 and 2005.

The complaint says unpaid salary affected Gossage's retirement pay by $320 a year for life.

Gossage also alleged that the town owes him more than $6,100 in health benefits.

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