Stephen P. Amos, whose indictment was dropped last week for misusing federal crime-fighting grant money in Maryland, accuses federal prosecutors of making a “prejudgment” that the office had done something wrong. The Baltimore Sun reports that Amos, 45, said the length investigation had a “devastating” impact on his life: “He lost his job. His reputation was ruined. He says the stress contributed to his wife’s breakdown, and to the breakup of his marriage. Job prospects vanished when potential employers learned of the unresolved criminal charges.”
Interim U.S. Attorney Allen F. Loucks said prosecutors dropped the case because of new evidence that surfaced only last month – a 1989 legal opinion from the Justice Department’s own files. The opinion on the use of federal grant funds for administrative purposes was “subject to varying interpretations,” Loucks said. The document would likely have raised reasonable doubt in the minds of jurors that Amos intended to break the law, making it difficult to win a conviction. Amos’ attorney, Gregg Bernstein, tried to persuade prosecutors not to indict. How could there be criminal intent, Bernstein asked, when Amos didn’t profit?