The protesters, Heather Doyle and Carling Sothoron, are due in District Court April 20.

Prince Frederick, MD  – Two Calvert County sheriff’s deputies who responded to the scene of a daring protest against the expansion of a local gas plant were honored at the Tuesday, April 7 meeting of the Calvert County Commissioners.

The officers—Dfc. Robert Brady Jr. and Dfc. Stephen Esposito—received a Team Excellence Award. The honor was recommended by county government’s Employee Recognition Committee (ERC).

The incident the deputies responded to occurred Tuesday morning, Feb. 3 at the staging area for the Dominion Cove Point Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Plant’s export project. The staging area is located off southbound Route 2/4 just west of Cove Point Road.

Around 6 a.m. that morning two women were found climbing a crane at the staging area. The women—identified as Heather Glascow Doyle, 31 of Washington, DC; and Carling Sothoron, 28 of Baltimore—were attempting to climb the crane for the purpose of hanging protest banners.

The local media was alerted by a protest group, Stopping Extraction and Exports Destruction (SEED) regarding the actions of Doyle and Sothoron.

According to a sheriff’s office report, deputies who were dispatched to the scene asked the women to stop climbing the crane.

“Doyle refused to comply and was arrested for trespassing and failure to obey a lawful order from law enforcement,” the sheriff’s report stated. Doyle was additionally charged with destruction of property after being apprehended when she allegedly scraped her handcuffs on one of the marked police vehicles, damaging the paint.

“Sothoron was asked to climb down off the crane but refused,” police reported. Esposito then climbed up the crane, approximately 175 feet off the ground, secured Sothoron to the crane, which was then lowered by workers from Kiewit, the project’s lead contractor. Sothoron was charged with trespassing and failure to obey a lawful order.

“The teamwork displayed by both [Brady and Esposito], in working together to bring this incident to a safe and orderly conclusion, demonstrated the highest level of service,” stated ERC Chair Kim Gott in a memo to the commissioners.

Brady and Esposito received framed certificates and “Team Excellence” shirts at the April 7 meeting.

Doyle and Sothoron are scheduled to appear before a District Court judge Monday afternoon, April 20 regarding the charges stemming from the early February incident. Doyle will be represented by attorney Mark Goldstone while Sothoron’s attorney has been identified in court papers as Mark Palumbo.

Contact Marty Madden at