Creighton demands judge recuse herself from case


audrey creighton

Updated Friday evening to include the court transcript of events

SILVER SPRING - In one of her first cases as an attorney after retiring from the bench, former Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Audrey Creighton accused a County District Court judge of being biased against her in a DUI case this week.

Creighton said Judge Jeannie Cho should recuse herself from a case in which Creighton acted as a defense attorney because of an oral statement Cho gave to Carol Crawford, part of the investigative counsel of the judicial disabilities commission.

Creighton then brought up Cho’s application for a position as Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge,  a position Creighton previously held before her resignation earlier this year.


BREAKING NEWS: Workers Box Confederate Statue

IMG 1441Updated to reflect the cost of cleaning and boxing the statue and current picture

ROCKVILLE - Workers on Friday began boxing up the controversial Confederate Cavalry Statue on the grounds of the Old Red Brick Courthouse after someone defaced the monument on Monday.

"This is just temporary," County Executive Ike Leggett said. "We had to clean it and we need to protect it because temperatures are running high right now."

Thursday a committee reported to the county that members had reached a consensus on three points regarding the statue:


BREAKING: Committee releases report on Rockville Statue


NewstatueROCKVILLE – A committee of Civil Rights Leaders and historians have, according to Montgomery County Council President George Leventhal, reached a consensus on the controversial Confederate Cavalry statue in Rockville – though Leventhal said it is just a “first step” in determining what to do with the statue.

The committee assembled by Council President George Leventhal released its findings late Thursday afternoon after meeting Monday.

“It’s fair to say we are happy the county has decided to follow proper procedures regarding the statue and we hope the county will use this time to find an appropriate home for the statue so it isn’t put in storage,” said Nancy Pickard, the executive director of Peerless Rockville.


Bethesda Church Sign Defaced


unitarian universal church signBETHESDA - Members of a church here say they have no idea removed part of their sign supporting racial equality.

The sign, “Black Lives Matter,” was found defaced Wednesday afternoon. A member of River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation constructed a wooden frame in order to make sure the sign did not get stolen but a vandal found a different way to make a statement.

“The black part of ‘black lives matter’ was surgically cut out of the sign,” Rita Parks, chairwoman of the racial equality task force said.

Parks said that the church has had problems in previous years with a marriage equality sign getting stolen.

 Each time the sign was stolen, the church put up a new sign in its place, Ana Lim, congregational minister for the church said. The sign is located right outside the church, visible from both River Road and Whittier Road, Lim said.

 “I was one of the few people who were in disbelief when it happened,” Lim said.

Lim said a county zoning inspector visited the church’s office Monday to investigate because he got an anonymous tip about the sign.

The County allowed the church to keep the sign up for a few weeks without requiring any special permission, Lim said. The church would have to take the sign down by around August 10, Lim said.

The church office received a call Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. from the same zoning inspector to say that the sign had been defaced, Lim said. The man was driving by and called the church when he saw the sign had been vandalized, Lim said.

The man said he could not comment on the matter.

“There are people who don’t agree with our values,” Lim said. “I guess that’s why that happened.”

 River Road Unitarian Univeralist is not the only church in the county to put up a sign with the text, Lim said.

Lim said the parish has a history of promoting black rights, perhaps before the church was built in the 1960s. The congregation existed 10 years before the church was built, Lim said.

“As far as I can tell from that history, there has always been advocacy for racial issues,” Lim said.

Delegates from the task force attended a black lives matter even in Raleigh, North Carolina, Lim said. The senior minister and some members of the church attended a march this year in Selma, Ala., Lim said.

The congregation had been talking for several months about putting a sign, Lim said.

“We decided that this was the sign we wanted right by our entry way,” Lim said.

The church took special care to place the sign in accordance with county regulations, Lim said. Lim said she knew the sign was lawfully placed because the church puts up a sign announcing their bazaar in December every year, and the #blacklivesmatter sign was mounted in the approved location.

A member of the parish said she was “very proud” when she saw the sign up.

It was “a heart break to see it destroyed,” the woman said.

Bethesda is predominantly white, but among the church’s members are people who are Latino, Asian and black, Lim said.

“There is a nice mix of other ethnicities (besides white),” Lim said.

Parish members outside the taskforce attend race advocacy events, Parks said.

Lim said the church will not be deterred by the vandalism of the sign.

“The fight is not yet near to being over,” Lim said. “There is still lot of work ahead of us and we just need to continue forging on.”

The damaged sign has been left in place so that media could get footage of it, Parks said. She said the church had received phone calls requesting permission to take photos of the sign.

The church will put up another #blacklivesmatter sign in place of the cut sign by Sunday evening following its service, Parks said.

This sign is the “traveling sign” that the taskforce brings to racial advocacy events, Parks said. Lim ordered a sign with the original black and yellow design which will be mounted next week, Parks said.

The church originally ordered the sign after a member saw one of the sister Unitarian churches had one, Parks said.



Rockville Council argues over Confederate Statue



ROCKVILLE-- City Council member Tom Moore said on Tuesday the mayor ignored the council’s majority opinion supporting the Confederate statue’s removal from Red Brick Courthouse.

Moore said Rockville Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton submitted her own version of a letter to County Executive Ike Leggett and County Council President George Leventhal on July 24 that did not issue an opinion on whether the statue should be moved. Moore said Newton ignored the original version of the letter, which called for the removal of the statue, and resubmitted her own version without the entire council’s knowledge.

“Rockville Mayor Bridget Newton was bound and determined that the City wouldn't take a position on removing the Confederate statue from the courthouse grounds, even though the Council had decided to tell the County it should go,” Moore posted on his Facebook page July 28. “I've seen a fair amount of lawless and unprofessional behavior from this Mayor, but this takes the cake.”


Local student receives NIST scholarship

gaithersburg buildingGAITHERSBURG – For many college students, summer jobs involve working as a cashier or mowing lawns, but one local teen is spending his summer working with advanced robotics.

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