Vote returns police union president

September 27, 2006|By Annie Linskey | Annie Linskey,SUN REPORTER

With a contract negotiation approaching, Baltimore police officers and retirees voted to keep their union president and much of their representation in place, the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3 announced yesterday.

Paul M. Blair Jr., the president, was returned to office with roughly 65 percent of the vote, receiving 1,277 votes. He has led the union since February when former head Lt. Frederick V. Roussey was ousted in the wake of allegations of financial mismanagement.

"The union is back on track," Blair said. "They're pleased with the work that is being done."

The union, which represents 4,920 officers and retirees, picked a new secretary, Sheri Albrecht, who is a sergeant in internal affairs. It also chose a new trustee, Ed Gordwell, who works in the quartermaster's office.

FOR THE RECORD - Articles in the Maryland section yesterday and Tuesday incorrectly described internal complaints about finances that were lodged against Lt. Frederick V. Roussey, who was ousted from the Baltimore police union in February. He was accused of falsely claiming to members that the union had voted against an internal audit. Roussey has denied the allegation.
The Sun regrets the errors.

"People voted for people who've been very active in the union," Blair said.

Forty percent of the union members voted.

Blair faced challenges from two officers - Scott Ripley, an 18-year veteran assigned to the Southeastern District, and Dave Miller, who is in the Northern District. Ripley got about 20 percent of the vote and Miller won about 14 percent.

Ripley did not return phone messages yesterday. Miller could not be reached for comment.

Gary McLhinney, a former union president who is on the board of directors and is now the chief of the Maryland Transportation Authority Police, said voters were asked to choose between candidates of different styles.

"Paul [Blair] is the steady, knowledgeable, experienced labor leader," he said. "Scott is new, maybe more aggressive style."

Blair said that officer salaries will be a major issue in the coming contract negotiations with the city. "We always ask for the moon. The city doesn't want to give it to us," he said.

Blair and the rest of the board will be sworn in at a ceremony Oct. 23.

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