Court rejects ex-police chief's bid for reinstatement

June 19, 2008|By Julie Bykowicz and John Fritze | Julie Bykowicz and John Fritze,sun reporters

Former Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Clark will not get his job back, a city judge has ruled.

Saying Clark's case was flawed and that returning him to office would create too much chaos, Circuit Judge Carol E. Smith on Tuesday denied the former commissioner's motion for reinstatement. Clark, who says he was wrongly dismissed in 2004, is also suing the city for $120 million.

The case returned to city court after the state's highest court, the Court of Appeals, sided with Clark in a March ruling, saying that mayors may fire commissioners only under certain circumstances. The mayor at the time, Martin O'Malley, fired Clark amid an investigation of allegations that he had assaulted his fianc?e. The allegations were later determined to be unfounded.

Yesterday, Clark's attorney, A. Dwight Petit, called Smith's ruling "unfortunate." Addressing Smith's concern that Clark's reinstatement would cause chaos, Petit said, "They created the chaos by sending a SWAT team in and taking his position."

The city attorney said he was pleased with Smith's "terrific" opinion. "It adopted all the arguments that we made and reached the right conclusion for the right reasons," City Solicitor George Nilson said.

Petit said he would possibly appeal once again to the state's highest court. Clark's wrongful-termination lawsuit is scheduled for trial in January in Baltimore Circuit Court.

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