Today in Maryland

Maryland governor takes steps to boost cybersecurity

ANNAPOLIS (AP) — Gov. Larry Hogan is taking steps to strengthen cybersecurity in Maryland in the wake of a cyberattack that hit the city of Baltimore's computer network.

Hogan signed an executive order on Tuesday to create a new position called the Maryland Chief Information Security Officer. The Republican governor also said he is forming the Office of Security Management and the Maryland Cybersecurity Coordinating Council.

The three will work to improve the state's ability to address a cybersecurity incident.

For example, the council will help create recommendations for the state to identify and respond to cybersecurity risks and recover from them. It will include state officials from agencies and departments throughout the state.

Last month, a cyberattack affected functions of local government in Baltimore.

Racehorse takes lead, dies at Laurel Park; Maryland's 12th

LAUREL (AP) — A 5-year-old horse died of a suspected heart attack during a race at Laurel Park, the 12th racehorse to die in Maryland this year.

The Baltimore Sun reports the mare named Follow the Petals collapsed on Sunday immediately after she had taken the lead in her race. The jockey was unharmed.

The Maryland Racing Commission reports nine horses have died during races and two during training between Jan. 1 and May 31. One of them was a filly that collapsed and died running at Baltimore's Pimlico Race Course just one day ahead of the Preakness Stakes.

The Stronach Group owns Laurel Park and Pimlico as well as California's Santa Anita Park, where 29 racehorses have died since December. It has called for sweeping reforms to medication rules.

Employee pleads guilty to taking cash to falsify urine tests

BALTIMORE (AP) — A technician at a Maryland company that provides drug and alcohol testing services has pleaded guilty to taking cash payments in exchange for falsifying urine samples.

Federal prosecutors say Michael Andre Brown made the plea Monday to a federal bribery charge. The 47-year-old from Waldorf, Maryland, worked for a federal contractor that provided urinalysis results to U.S. probation and pretrial services.

According to his plea agreement, Brown accepted cash for falsely reporting urinalysis results as negative for controlled substances when they had actually tested positive. He was caught by an undercover FBI task force officer posing as a probationer who'd been ordered to submit urine samples. Prosecutors say he took payments of $100 or $150.

Brown faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. Sentencing is set for August.

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