MONTGOMERY COUNTY v. SHROPSHIRE
23 A.3d 205 (2011)
420 Md. 362
MONTGOMERY COUNTY MARYLAND, et al.
Edward SHROPSHIRE, et al.
No. 84, September Term, 2010.
Court of Appeals of Maryland.
June 29, 2011.
Karen L. Federman Henry, Division Chief (Marc P. Hansen, Acting County Atty., and Kathryn Lloyd, Associate County, Atty., Office of the County Attorney, Rockville, MD), on brief, for appellants.
Martha L. Handman (Martha L. Handman, P.C., Gaithersburg, MD), on brief, for appellees.
Argued before BELL, C.J., HARRELL, BATTAGLIA, GREENE, MURPHY, ADKINS, BARBERA, JJ.
In this declaratory judgment action,1 we consider the intersection of the Maryland Public Information Act, Maryland Code (1984, 2009 Repl.Vol.), Sections 10-611 et seq. of the State Government Article,2 with the authority of the Montgomery County Office of the Inspector General to obtain records of a police department internal investigation. Specifically, we are asked whether records of an investigation undertaken by the County Police Department's Internal Affairs Division, related to alleged violations of administrative rules of the Department by Sergeant Edward Shropshire and Captain Willie Parker-Loan, Appellees, in connection with an automobile accident involving Assistant Fire Chief Gregory J. DeHaven, can be disclosed to the County's Inspector General. After a hearing on the parties' cross-motions for summary judgment, the Circuit Court for Montgomery County ordered the disclosure of records of the internal investigation, but not information "of a personal nature." Both parties appealed to the Court of Special Appeals, but, before the appeal could be decided by the intermediate appellate court, we granted a Petition for Writ of Certiorari filed by Sergeant Shropshire and Captain Parker-Loan,3
Montgomery County v. Shropshire, 415 Md. 607, 4 A.3d 512 (2010), to consider the following questions:
1. Does the Maryland Public Information Act, Md.Code Ann., State Gov't § 10-616(i) require the custodian of records to deny the Montgomery County Inspector General access to records of a police department internal investigation of whether the petitioners violated department work rules?
2. Are records of a police department internal investigation of the petitioners protected from disclosure to the Montgomery County Inspector General under Md.Code Ann., State Gov't § 10-615(1) as records made confidential by the Law Enforcement Officers' Bill of Rights [LEOBR], Md.Code Ann., Public Safety § 3-104(n)? We shall hold that records of an internal investigation pertaining to the alleged violation of administrative rules are "personnel records" pursuant to Section 10-616(i) of the State Government Article5 and, therefore, may not be disclosed under the Maryland Public Information Act to the Montgomery County Inspector General.
Background and Procedural History