What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, unless it involves a mayor in a bikini and a county executive with his foot in his mouth.
At a fancy reception for Maryland politicos attending the International Council of Shopping Centers Convention, Harford County Executive David Craig stepped up to say a few words. There were plenty of bigwigs gathered at Wynn Las Vegas, from other county execs to Gov. Martin O'Malley. Craig gave Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon a special shout-out.
Sadly, no one was taking notes, but I'm told this is the gist of what Craig said:
"I've seen a lot of Sheila Dixon this week, specifically this morning out by the pool when she was in her bikini."
Several hundred people cringed. One got revenge.
"Well, I saw County Executive Craig in his bathing suit and I tell you, I wouldn't want to see that again," my spies tell me Dixon said when her turn to speak came. "And I won't tell you what Martin told me to say."
Craig did not respond to calls seeking comment.
Dixon spokesman Anthony McCarthy declined to discuss Craig's comment. Nor would he confirm or deny if the mayor had, in fact, appeared in a bikini at her hotel pool. (It was said to have been very modest by bikini standards, with a matching wrap-around pool skirt.)
Not that there's anything wrong with a big-city mayor sporting a bikini. Dixon, 53, is a physically fit black-belt, and her predecessor was known for baring his biceps.
McCarthy would say this much: "If you've got it, flaunt it."
Baltimore, honey, won't you take the police back?
Why knock yourself out with zero-tolerance policing when all that's needed to bring this violent city around are some chocolates and roses?
"The way I look at trust in the community is the same way I look at a love affair," Police Commissioner Leonard Hamm said at a news conference about crime Thursday afternoon, during a stretch that was especially bloody even by Baltimore standards. "If you've ever had a lover and you cheat on her, how are you going to get that trust back?"
This from the first Baltimore police chief in memory whose love life hasn't made headlines. We had the top cop with all the girlfriends. Then the chief with two wives (only one of them official). Maybe Hamm's romantic resume isn't as boring as we've assumed.
Hamm didn't elaborate at the news conference. There was laughter, then Mayor Dixon jumped in to change the subject.
I asked police spokesman Matt Jablow if he'd explain the commish's wronged-woman analogy. Are the cops cheating on the community or is the community cheating on the cops? Jablow declined to comment.
Mayoral spokesman McCarthy was more game: "I think he probably thinks the police cheated on the community and we're trying to woo the community back."
So enough with the crime plan du jour. Just crank up the Tammy Wynette.
Connect the dots . . .