Council OKs mayor's choices for new Civilian Review Board

Schmoke wins battle with state legislators

November 09, 1999|By Gerard Shields | Gerard Shields,SUN STAFF

Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke, who leaves office next month, won a legislative battle last night in the City Council, which voted to approve his seven appointments to the Civilian Review Board.

A group of state legislators that helped create the panel to oversee Police Department actions had asked the council to reject Schmoke's citizen appointments.

The legislators -- led by Sens. Clarence M. Mitchell IV, Joan Carter Conway and Ralph M. Hughes and Del. Nathaniel T. Oaks -- complained that Schmoke failed to open the appointment process to all citizens and that many of the nominees were recommended by the police.

Schmoke called their opposition "politics" and said he nominated citizens based on their community activism and involvement in the nine police district community relations councils.

Council members attempting to block Schmoke nominees -- including Mayor-Elect Martin O'Malley -- failed to get the necessary 10 votes. O'Malley was joined by Council President Lawrence A. Bell III and council members Lois Garey and Robert Curran.

Schmoke was supported by council members Sheila Dixon, Edward L. Reisinger, the Rev. Norman A. Handy Sr., Melvin L. Stukes, Helen Holton, Nicholas C. D'Adamo Jr., John L. Cain, Paula Johnson Branch and Bernard C. "Jack" Young. Council members Agnes B. Welch and Keiffer J. Mitchell Jr. abstained and four other members were absent.

Schmoke withdrew the names of two of his nine nominees, Winifred Ashby and George W. Collins. Collins, who attended last night's meeting, said his name was withdrawn after he expressed reservations about the nominating process based on the legislators' complaints. He said he was recommended by a police commander.

The council also introduced a bill to raise the pay of Baltimore's elected officials by 10 percent.

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