Pugh: Mayor's response to lead paint judgments is unacceptable

April 11, 2011

The Mayor and Housing Authority of Baltimore's insist that they cannot pay court judgments for victims of lead paint is unconscionable, unjust and completely unacceptable.

I am shocked and outraged that the Mayor of Baltimore and the Housing Authority of Baltimore will not stand up for the most vulnerable citizens of Baltimore: the children. How can the Housing Authority and the Mayor turn their backs on the victims and disregard the rule of law? The Mayor and the Housing Authority Board members have taken a solemn oath of office to uphold the laws of the State of Maryland and they should do just that, uphold the law.

What is more troubling is the clear pattern of mismanagement by the Administration and the Housing Authority on the issue of lead paint. As the Sun paper reported, the City recently lose 4 million dollars of federal grant money for lead paint remediation due to mismanagement of its most recent grant, and the city was deemed a high-risk grantee ineligible to receive more funds. It is incomprehensible that following this announcement, the Mayor and Housing Authority would suggest the judgments award to lead paint victims would not be paid.

The citizens of Baltimore deserve better from the Mayor and Housing Authority. If they cannot protect children from lead paint poisoning and will not justly compensate the victims, perhaps the State should step in and correct the problem and protect the children of Baltimore.

Catherine E. Pugh The writer is a state senator representing the 40th District.

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