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Mobtown Beat

Great Pains

Top Baltimore City Court Administrator Arrested For Forging Prescriptions

By Van Smith | Posted 1/21/2009

Anthony S. Dix Jr., 52, a top administrator in the Baltimore City Circuit Court clerk's office, was charged last August in Baltimore County with passing forged prescriptions for Percocet, an addictive pain-killer classified under federal law as a controlled, regulated substance. Dix's arrest passed unnoticed by the press until now. His trial is scheduled for Feb. 24.

"Oh dear," Dix says when asked about the charges by a reporter visiting his office on Jan. 16. "I went in a [drug-rehabilitation] program right away." He says that "everybody in the judiciary knows about" his arrest.

The elected Clerk of the Circuit Court, Frank M. Conaway Sr., stands by Dix, calling him "very, very bright.

"Tony knows more about the court system and its operations than probably anybody else around," Conaway says, adding that Dix is third in charge at Conaway's office and carries the dual titles of administrative manager and assistant chief deputy clerk. His functions include assignment of cases, management of the jury assembly room, and human-resources issues, Conaway says, and his duties have not changed since the arrest.

Last Aug. 31, though, as Dix sat in the waiting area of a Rite Aid on Smith Avenue in Pikesville, police had reason to believe Dix was doing something wrong.

According to the statement of charges, an officer listened to a pharmacist give the details of Dix's suspected forgery. When the officer asked Dix about it, "at first [Dix] denied knowing the prescription was forged," the statement says, but then "admitted that he drove to the Rite Aid knowing the prescription was forged," and did so "because he ran out of Percocet."

"Dix was not cooperative in explaining how he obtained the forged prescription, although he admitted to filling the prescription out," the statement continues. A search of Dix's vehicle turned up "another prescription matching the forged prescription" and "a receipt to Tuxedo Pharmacy" in Roland Park. Dix admitted to additional forgeries involving those documents.

Conaway says "the hierarchy knows" about the forgery charges. However, the administrative judge of the Circuit Court, Marcella Holland, was in the dark on any troubles involving Dix. "So what's the story?" she asked, when told of the forgery charges.

Dix's attorney, Joseph Murtha, says his client sees his legal troubles as "a personal problem that has affected his employment, but he has come to terms with dealing with it. It's the result of long-term chronic pain management to get through his day, and he regrets that it's happened and has taken full responsibility for it."

Conaway says Dix "has an arthritic condition that he's had for years, and he's in constant pain. He can't turn his head." Conaway also notes that Dix's mother, Anna Dix, who was a long-time court employee, passed away about three years ago. "Tony was very close to his mother, and he's still suffering from his loss. I feel for him, and I feel for his pain."

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