Council Expected To Ok Sexual Harassment Bill

Annapolis Law Would Be1st In State

April 13, 1992|By JoAnna Daemmrich | JoAnna Daemmrich,Staff writer

Annapolis could become the first jurisdiction in Maryland with its own sexual harassment law if the City Council approves the landmark legislation tonight.

Two council subcommittees have endorsed the bill introduced by Alderman Carl O. Snowden, D-5th. Four others, including the three women on the council, have signed up as co-sponsors, paving the way for the bill's expected approval.

Business leaders initially complained that the law was too broad and contained a vague definition of sexual harassment. The bill was revised four times to tighten up the language.

If it is approved, supervisors in Maryland's capital who repeatedly harass employees under them could be convicted of a misdemeanor punishable by fines up to $1,000 and six months in jail.

In other business, the council is expected to send two redistricting plans to the Rules Committee for further review.

Officials of the Annapolis Democratic Party and the Black Political Forum have urged aldermen to redraw ward lines to increase the chances of electing a third black member.

A redistricting committee appointed by Mayor Alfred A. Hopkins drew a different mapthat left the current wards basically intact. The plan slightly increases the black populations of the 1st and 5th wards, both currently represented by black aldermen. The black population in the other six wards would be slightly reduced.

Michael T. Brown, chairman of thecity's Democratic Central Committee, offered an alternative proposalto increase the black population of the 6th Ward to 49 percent from the current 41 percent. Brown lost to Alderman Wayne Turner, a Republican, by four votes in a fierce campaign for the 6th Ward seat in 1989.

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