Irby announces candidacy for City Council president

June 30, 1999|By Gerard Shields | Gerard Shields,SUN STAFF

Former state Sen. Nathan C. Irby Jr. said yesterday that he will run for Baltimore City Council president.

The former 12-year Baltimore Democrat serves as the executive secretary to the state Board of Liquor License Commissioners. Irby joins a three-candidate field that includes West Baltimore Councilwoman Sheila Dixon, Clerk of Courts Frank Conaway and City Wide Coalition candidate David G. S. Greene.

A former eight-year council member, Irby intends to keep his liquor board post while running for council president and said his political experience can help the city.

Under state rules, Irby can run for council president while serving as an employee of the commission, a spokesman for Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr. said yesterday.

If elected, Irby would have to leave his liquor board position.

By remaining with the board, Irby will face restrictions on campaign contributions. Under state rules, liquor board employees may not receive remuneration or gifts from any person or business that the board regulates.

This year, former state Del. William J. Madonna Jr. and liquor inspector Anthony J. Cianferano pleaded guilty to conspiring to thwart enforcement of state liquor laws over a 10-year period. Bribery charges against the two were thrown out for lack of evidence.

Irby was not implicated and tried to distance himself from the scandal last night at a North Baltimore candidates forum. Introducing himself as the executive secretary of the "infamous" liquor board, he said many of the problems occurred before his arrival.

Irby, 67, said he intends to campaign on bringing fiscal soundness to the city. Baltimore faces a projected $153 million deficit over the next four years. "This affords me a wonderful opportunity," Irby said. "And I would be a good stabilizer to the young people [on the council]."

Pub Date: 6/30/99

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