At Media's Request, Md. City Agrees to Release More Pages of 'Black Book'

By: (AP) The City of Frederick, Md., has agreed to decode and release thousands of more pages of the "black book," the business records of a prostitution ring police raided in 1999.

City officials previously said the data was on a number of magneto-optical disks, an uncommon technology that the city lacked when it was ordered by the state Court of Special Appeals in January 2004 to release black book records to The Frederick News-Post and The Associated Press. In February, the city released about 8,500 pages downloaded from conventional computer hard drives, plus video and photographs documenting the investigation.

Since then, following the filing of a petition by Daniel A. Trey seeking all the black book documents, the city has placed an order for a magneto-optical disk drive that will allow it to read the information on the disks, Hagerstown Police Department lawyer Ken Shapiro said at a hearing Tuesday in Frederick County Circuit Court. He said the volume of data may far exceed that previously released.

Trey also demanded that the city pay for reconstruction of several trash bags full of shredded documents that the city turned over to the News-Post last year. Judge G. Edward Dwyer ordered attorneys for the Trey, the city, and the newspaper to draft an order for him to sign, directing the city to reassemble the documents.

Trey and the news organizations requested the black book records in 2000 amid allegations that the prostitution customers included public officials. The only public official known to have associated with the business, then-Alderman Blaine Young, acknowledged in 2001 that he had hired some of the women to dance at parties.


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