Ex-deputy attorney general to become new city solicitor

January 09, 2007|By John Fritze | John Fritze,Sun Reporter

George A. Nilson, a former Maryland deputy attorney general who has litigated a number of high-profile cases, will become city solicitor for incoming Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon - securing one of the fledgling administration's most important Cabinet positions.

Nilson, 64, worked in the state attorney general's office for nine years, leaving the department as deputy attorney general in 1982 to return to private practice. He is currently an attorney with DLA Piper, where he has focused on public and consumer law.

"I have been interested in returning to the public sector for a while," said Nilson, whose appointment will take effect Jan. 17. "This seems like a natural position for me personally."

Dixon is expected to officially announce Nilson's appointment at a news conference tomorrow. The city solicitor, Baltimore's top attorney, represents the mayor, city departments and the City Council in litigation, serving on the Board of Estimates. Under Mayor Martin O'Malley, City Solicitor Ralph S. Tyler also became a key policy adviser.

Nilson oversaw a commission appointed by then-Gov. Harry R. Hughes to tighten the state's lobbying and campaign finance law. In 1978, as deputy attorney general, he rendered an advisory opinion that limited the use of political "walking around money," used by candidates to secure votes on Election Day. Nilson's clients have included tobacco manufacturers, construction magnate Willard Hackerman and the Midtown Academy, a charter school.

Nilson is also the founder and board chairman of the Baltimore Efficiency and Economy Foundation, a nonprofit group that studies city government.

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