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Carroll County Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Allan Culver and former Deputy State’s Attorney Edward Coyne cleared of any wrongdoing after investigation

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The following information is from a press release on October 20th from Carroll County State’s Attorney’s Office

Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Allan Culver and former Deputy State’s Attorney Edward Coyne cleared of any wrongdoing after an investigation by the Office of the State Prosecutor, Circuit Court Judges rescind recusal

A recently completed investigation by Office of the State Prosecutor (OSP) determined that allegations involving the conduct of Master Deputy Sean Buenger could not be proven and that there was no corroboration to the allegations made by former Assistant State’s Attorney Jennifer Brady at a hearing that occurred on May 27, 2022, involving Culver and Coyne in front of Judge Richard R. Titus.

Brady told Titus at the May 27, 2022, hearing that she and Coyne were told during a February 2022 meeting with the Maryland State Police and other law enforcement that rank-and-file troopers were suspicious of Benger’s behavior. Brady said one or multiple troopers intentionally gave Buenger a fake address of a so-called “trap house” where he was told drugs were being sold. Buenger then wrote an affidavit for a search warrant that stated that Buenger had searched trash outside of the fictitious house and found evidence of drugs there, Brady said. Troopers had to rush to withdraw the falsified search warrant affidavit before it landed on a judge’s desk.

The statements made at the hearing by Brady prompted the four sitting Carroll Circuit Court Judges to send hand-delivered letters on June 1, 2022, to Interim State’s Attorney Culver and Deputy Coyne informing both that the judges would recuse themselves from cases in which the two long-serving prosecutors were involved.  Deputy Coyne left the Carroll County State’s Attorney’s office June 3rd, just three days after the judges decided to recuse themselves from all cases in which he and Interim State’s Attorney Culver were directly involved.

The OSP opened its investigation on June 6, 2022, and completed it on July 31, 2023.  Shortly after the OSP opened its investigation, on June 15, 2022, then Maryland State Delegate Haven Shoemaker, who was engaged in a hard-fought primary for Carroll’s State’s Attorney seat, with Reisterstown medical malpractice attorney David Ellin, remarked, “It’s the subject of an ongoing investigation, and I think it would be premature for me or anybody else to rush to judgment until that investigation is completed,” Shoemaker said. “I’m just anxious to see what happens when all the facts are in.” In stark contrast, Ellin in a June 6, 2022, press release, questioned Interim State’s Attorney Culver’s veracity and ethics, and called for his immediate resignation before any investigations and based on the allegations alone and with zero facts being gathered at that point.

During their investigation the OSP interviewed multiple individuals who attended the February 2022 meeting where the alleged information was reportedly discussed. Investigators found that the statements of Brady and the specific trooper she claimed told her about the allegations involving Buenger “contradicted each other.” Further, statements of other witnesses also show that no one who attended the February 2022 meeting corroborated that the trooper in question made such statements about Buenger to Brady.  Additionally, Carroll County Sheriff James DeWees said that an internal investigation conducted by his office could not corroborate Brady’s account even though she named the trooper, location, and circumstances. A forensic analysis of the Master Deputy Buenger’s computer and cellphone was conducted, and no search warrant or affidavit was found, DeWees said.

State’s Attorney Shoemaker commented, “Due process has finally been served, and at long last the facts have come out; however, the process was slow and plodding and the folks in Carroll County were denied the services of a dedicated deputy and two seasoned prosecutors with over 43 years of experience combined in the interim.”  Shoemaker further added, “Nothing will restore the time these gentlemen lost while the investigation played out, and for Ned Coyne it marked the end of a 21-year career of serving the people of Carroll and the State of Maryland by locking up the bad guys.”  “The underserved stain on their reputations, based on speculation and smear, will take even longer to fade,” opined Shoemaker.

Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Allan Culver stated that “It’s been a long sixteen months and I’m just glad that the truth finally came out.  I’m just ready to roll up my sleeves and get back into the courtroom full time.  I greatly appreciate all the folks who reached out over the last year and a half and expressed support knowing that I would never conduct myself in the way that was alleged.”

Former Deputy State’s Attorney Edward “Ned” Coye was quoted as saying, “This was a disappointing and unfair rush to judgment.  Over the last twenty plus years of my legal career, I have the reputation of being a fair and ethical attorney, which has been confirmed by the results of this investigation clearing me of any wrongdoing.  I look forward to continuing to serve the people in the community with their legal needs. “

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Some current and past articles from a number of resources for reference to the statement above:

 


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