Gov. William Donald Schaefer will eat lunch with the second-highest bidder in a charity auction for Center Stage, having passed over the winner -- a convicted killer.
Schaefer said yesterday that he will not dine with prisoner Douglas Scott Arey, whose $1,750 bid was the top amount in Sunday's WBAL Radio Auction for a lunch with the governor.
Arey, 42, is serving a life sentence at the Maryland Correctional Institution in Jessup for the 1973 murder of a Baltimore man who, Schaefer said, "happened to be known to me." Arey shot the victim, a former Baltimore mayoral candidate, three times in the chest and dumped his body in Pennsylvania.
The governor said he instead would accept the second-highest bid of $1,700 offered by Miro Monghi, who was the highest bidder in previous years. Schaefer said he himself would make up the $50 difference between the bids to Center Stage.
Schaefer said he did not want to attract publicity to Arey or hurt the slain man's family, who contacted him yesterday.
"His family immediately called me and said they would object strenuously to my having lunch," Schaefer said. "As soon as I found out who [Arey] was, who he had murdered, allegedly murdered, or murdered, we canceled the lunch."
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.
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 told The Sun that he has made other charitable donations from money he earned while on work release, including two $1,000 donations to a church that serves inmates.