Fired liquor inspector offers to take lie test Turner also challenges Sen. Young to take exam in dispute over dismissal

August 31, 1996|By Kate Shatzkin | Kate Shatzkin,SUN STAFF

A fired liquor board inspector said yesterday she was willing to take a lie detector test to back up claims in a lawsuit that state Sen. Larry Young knew of Kenneth A. "Kenny Bird" Jackson's criminal background even as the senator supported the granting of a liquor license for a nightclub Jackson planned.

Marion P. Turner invited Young, whom she describes as a "lifetime friend," to take a polygraph test himself. Young could not be reached for comment yesterday. He has denied knowing about Jackson's background at the time he supported the application.

Young's relationship with Jackson, operator of a downtown strip club who has been arrested a number of times and convicted on a felony weapons charge, has been the subject of an inquiry by State Prosecutor Stephen Montanarelli's office.

Turner said yesterday she had not spoken to Montanarelli and would not unless she received a subpoena to do so.

Turner, a liquor board inspector for the past five years, was fired in May after she received a call from an FBI agent inquiring about Young's activities. She said the call came months after she told Young about Jackson's background, urging him not to get involved with the strip club operator "due to his record and reputation."

Turner is suing the liquor board, claiming that she was wrongfully discharged because of political fallout, not job performance, and that the system that allows Baltimore's eight senators to control who is hired and fired by the board violates state law and city personnel procedures.

In a court affidavit, Turner wrote that fellow liquor board employee Douglas K. Paige told her he saw Jackson giving money to Zachary Powell, an aide to Young. She wrote that Paige also accepted an invitation to Jackson's birthday party.

Paige and Powell denied those allegations, and Paige said Turner had forged his name on a loan application. Turner said yesterday that she did no such thing, pointing out that she had never been charged or prosecuted.

"This is an opportunity for Senator Young and his close associates to try to defame me," she said.

An assistant state attorney general representing the liquor board has moved for dismissal of Turner's suit, arguing that "it is not for the Court to second guess the wisdom or fairness" of the patronage system. A hearing date has not been scheduled.

Pub Date: 8/31/96

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