Thanks but no thanks is Gov. William Donald Schaefer's response to a luncheon set up for him and the highest bidder in a charity auction for Center Stage.
Schaefer announced today that he will not dine with Douglas Scott Arey, whose $1,750 bid was the top amount in Sunday's WBAL Radio Auction for a lunch with Schaefer.
The reason for Schaefer's refusal? Arey, 42, is serving a life sentence at the Maryland Correctional Institution in Jessup for a 1973 homicide. Arey shot a Baltimore man three times in the chest and dumped the body in Pennsylvania.
Schaefer said he did not want to attract publicity to the inmate or cause pain for the victim's family. "In all good conscience, I cannot accept this offer," Schaefer said.
The governor said he would accept the second highest bid of $1,700 and make a personal donation of $50 to Center Stage to meet Arey's bid.
For $1,750, charged on his credit card, Arey beat out several other bidders for lunch with Schaefer, who donated his time for the theater's 14th annual charity auction.
Arey was convicted in 1974 for the first-degree murder of Samuel D. Shapiro, a political maverick and parking lot owner who was shot to death in the then-vacant Belvedere Hotel in May 1973. Arey worked for Shapiro as a security guard.
Schaefer and Shapiro both ran for mayor in 1971. Shapiro lost in the Republican primary, while Schaefer won his primary and the race.