Items involving Schmoke, Clarke spouses delayed

May 19, 1994|By JoAnna Daemmrich | JoAnna Daemmrich,Sun Staff Writer

It's a more cautious era at Baltimore's Board of Estimates, seven months after Comptroller Jacqueline F. McLean slipped a million-dollar deal past her colleagues to lease the former headquarters of her travel agency to the city.

Concerned by even the slightest chance of impropriety after the comptroller's indictment on theft and misconduct charges, City Solicitor Neal M. Janey yesterday asked that the board delay voting on two items involving the spouses of the mayor and council president.

One request was from the development company run by J. Joseph Clarke, the husband of Council President Mary Pat Clarke. J. J. Clarke Enterprises Inc. needs a resolution of support from the board to obtain $1.2 million in state tax-exempt bonds to refurbish a 64-unit apartment building near the Johns Hopkins University.

The other request was from the Health Department to reimburse the Baltimore Medical System Inc. $252,763 from a Medicare waiver. Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke's wife, Patricia, an ophthalmologist, is part of a medical group that provides eye care at three of the company's clinics.

Mr. Janey wrote to Mr. Clarke and to the city's deputy health commissioner for more information, noting that such situations "require disclosure and . . . exacting scrutiny."

Both Mrs. Clarke and Mr. Schmoke said they would abstain from voting on the matters.

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