About 50 Baltimore Circuit Court workers rallied yesterday afternoon outside the Clarence M. Mitchell Jr. Courthouse, protesting what they called dangerously dirty working conditions and threatening to sue the city if they do not get relief.
Arthur "Pat" Kelly, a court clerk and vice president of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3674, blamed Mayor Martin O'Malley for "inhuman conditions."
"We are looking forward to a class-action lawsuit that will go forward unless we hear from you immediately," Kelly said.
Circuit Court Clerk Frank M. Conaway described what he called "life-threatening" conditions at Mitchell Courthouse and Courthouse East. Conaway noted 90-degree temperatures in some rooms, dirt and vermin, and demanded the city build a new courthouse. In recent years workers, including judges, have come down with serious illnesses ranging from respiratory problems to lymphoma to Legionnaire's disease.
Dr. Peter L. Beilenson, the city health commissioner, has recommended an independent investigation to see whether building conditions could be responsible.
Tony White, O'Malley's spokesman, said yesterday that contrary to earlier reports, the mayor has set aside $500,000 to clean up the pigeon droppings, and the city is now soliciting bids for that job and for other problems.