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Contact Jessica Masulli Reyes at (302) 324-2777, [email protected] or Twitter @JessicaMasulli.

“I think changing the law is so important because he’s a very good kid,” Buckworth said. “He has a full-time job, and this could have really messed him up. That doesn’t seem like the intent of the legislation.”

“Are you allowed to have alcohol and carry a firearm at the same time?” she said. “If you are allowed to carry a firearm legally, then I don’t see any reason we wouldn’t consider this to be the same.”

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Last month, Keeley and Henry introduced a bill that would allow state residents 21 and older to purchase up to an ounce of marijuana legally at dozens of stores in the state.

Even though he was found not guilty of the firearm charge, Wallace decided to still write a court opinion after the fact in April. That signaled to lawmakers a need to take a second look.

Buckworth said he is hopeful the Legislature will make changes to the firearm charge because they likely never imagined a scenario would arise as it did for Murray.

Rep. Helene Keeley, D-South Wilmington, said decriminalization has gone smoothly, but that the judge’s ruling will have to be looked at closely to determine if further legislation is necessary.

Inspector Friedman and Captain Pennell, both of whom served on the Complaint Hearing Board, expressed similar views. According to their testimony at trial, they believed that if either charge against Hopkins was substantiated, [37] they would have no choice but to recommend his dismissal. [38] Their testimony, as well as the testimony of Hopkins and Hickman, is consistent with the Department’s unblemished history of terminating employees who were found to be in any way involved with drugs.

A hearing was scheduled for April 28, 1982, but was postponed at the request of Hopkins’ attorney until May 13, 1982. After an additional postponement to May 25, an evidentiary hearing was held before a Department Complaint Hearing Board (“the Board”). The Board was composed of Simon Edwards, Joseph Pennell and Stanley Friedman, all originally named, but subsequently dismissed, as defendants in this lawsuit. The Board was empowered to make a recommendation, based on the evidence presented at the hearing, as to whether Hopkins had committed the offenses charged and, if so, what penalty was appropriate. At the close of the hearing, the Board concluded Hopkins had violated the conduct code and recommended that he be dismissed from the Department. [13]

II. The Issues Presented

A. Evidence of the Conduct Violation

[16] DX 1, Nancy Carter at 68.