Anne Arundel jury awards $6,331 in slots sign destruction

An Anne Arundel County jury has ordered a Glen Burnie engineer to pay $6,331 in damages to a pro-slots committee for taking their signs during the ballot campaign of 2010 that brought slots to the Arundel Mills area.

The award in the civil case against David Scott Corrigan is significantly less than the $100,000 in damages and $1 million in punitive damages that had been sought by Jobs & Revenue for Anne Arundel County, a political committee that had been supported by the Cordish Cos., Arundel Mills and others.

The decision was issued last Thursday in county Circuit Court.

"We were pleased enough with it," Ronald H. Jarashow, Corrigan's attorney, said Monday. "What I think it came down to is the truth of Mr. Corrigan affecting only a limited number of signs."

Corrigan acknowledged he took down or damaged about 110 or 115 signs during October 2010 in the weeks before county voters overwhelmingly cleared the way for Cordish to build the Maryland Live slots parlor near the mall. It opened in 2012.

He told the jury he removed the signs because he believed slots would "tear down the same type of people that I spent so many volunteer hours trying to help."

Jobs & Revenue attorney Charles M. Kerr said in court that his client lost some 3,000 of its "Vote for Question A" signs during the campaign. He said the thefts ended with Corrigan's arrest, and workers had to be paid to replace the stolen signs. He also told jurors that Corrigan sought "to block the people from Anne Arundel County from knowing about the campaign," a practice he called "arrogant" and "offensive."

Neither Kerr nor a Cordish Cos. spokeswoman commented Monday.

Corrigan was caught by a county police officer slicing a sign from its frame on Oct. 23, 2010 outside Jobs & Revenue's headquarters in Severna Park. When arrested, he had 70 pro-slots signs in his pickup truck.

In September 2011, he entered an Alford plea, not admitting guilt but acknowledging that prosecutors had evidence to convict him of theft. He was fined $5,000, placed on probation for a year and ordered to perform 64 hours of community service.

The amount Corrigan was ordered to pay last week is actually less than the $8,740 check he originally wrote for restitution in his criminal case. That check went uncashed, and Jarashow said it's now too old to be used.

andrea.siegel@baltsun.com

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