DWI HIT PARADE: St. Mary’s Public Schools IT Director David Howard Scores Another DUI; Pleads Guilty to DUI in PG County after Safety for Students Presentation to St. Mary’s School Board
BLOOD, NO BRAINS, & NIGHT FLIGHTS
By Ken Rossignol
THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY
News & Commentary
LEONARDTOWN, MD – The town often called the Walled City is populated by a large flock of folks who love boozing and cruising on highways, keeping local barristers well-stocked with clients from whom they extract impressive fees to arrange favorable plea deals with the States Attorney.
One local official who has been collecting DUI convictions and doesn’t mind driving while intoxicated and imperiling the lives of the citizens who pay his ample salary is David Lee Howard of Half Pone Point (not Half Pint Point) in Hollywood, Maryland.
Howard is the Information Technology Director of the St. Mary’s County Public Schools. Howard appeared before the St. Mary’s School Board on January 12, 2023. He gave the Board members and his boss, Superintendent Scott Smith, a presentation on the Gaggle software installed into computers supplied to students. The Gaggle detects dangerous and threatening activities of the students. It sends an alert to a team of deputies and school crisis intervention personnel to the student’s home, hoping to prevent suicide or murder when threats are made. At the Board meeting, Smith was careful to state that the software only works when a phone or computer is connected to the school system.
Howard provided a slide show to the Board, and the meeting was posted on the public school’s YouTube channel.
When DUI drivers are repeat offenders, many jurisdictions require an ignition interlock device installed in any vehicle the offender operates.
In the most recent arrest of David Lee Howard, on November 19, 2022, Howard entered a guilty plea in Prince Georges County District Court in a plea deal with Prince Georges County States Attorney Alisha Braveboy.
Braveboy has made tough statements about repeat DUI offenders in the past, but in the case of David Howard, she failed to require an ignition interlock for his latest DUI conviction.
The plea deal for Howard, arranged on January 30, 2023, included a jail sentence of sixty days in the slammer and one year of probation. Braveboy agreed to suspend the jail time, apparently, so he could continue his important work at keeping St. Mary’s Public Schools students from unsafe activities on the internet, making threats to take a gun to school at Leonardtown High School or to murder their ex-girlfriend at Great Mills High School. Should Howard be arrested again on a drive home from the popular beer halls in Leonardtown, where so many school employees like to gather after work to gaggle with friends and toss down brews, his suspended jail time could be reinstated, and he could be giving IT tips to fellow inmates at the Prince Georges County Jail.
Howard’s work with the St. Mary’s School system dates back about eight years following his twenty-four-year employment with the College of Southern Maryland as the Director of Information Technology Services. At the end of that employment, Howard was arrested for driving while suspended when he faced District Court Judge Kenneth Talley on November 21, 2015.
David Howard was arrested by Maryland State Trooper Eric Evans on November 9, 2006, as he operated a 1995 Cadillac on Rt. 5 at Persimmon Creek Road. He pleaded guilty to DWI – alcohol on March 13, 2007, as he took aim at innocent motorists in St. Mary’s County and, in a plea deal with St. Mary’s States Attorney Richard Fritz and the approval of District Court Judge John Slade, was given a verdict of Probation Before Judgement and fined $250. In that case, Howard completed the alcohol program and performed forty hours of community service. His plea deal included thirty days in the Hotel St. Mary’s, which he was able to have suspended due to the magic of Fritz.
Ironically, November appears to be the best month for police officers to bag Howard, or perhaps he is available any month that contains an “R,” just like the oyster season.
The level of sincerity of Howard in pleading guilty is questionable as his attorney, Ben Evan, of Suitland, filed a motion with District Court Judge LaKeecia Allen to reconsider the sentence. If the conviction were erased, Howard would be free to drive while intoxicated again without fearing being carted off to jail. But, then again, Howard could be free to hit someone head-on and wipe out an entire family of taxpayers. Attorney Ben Evan advertises on his website that he is adept at recovering significant amounts of money for those harmed in car crashes.