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Baltimore's Phone Lawsuit, A Controversial Ad On "Question 6," and Voice Recording On MTA Buses
October 18, 2012
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake says that City Comptroller Joan Pratt should not use the pro-bono legal services of Peter Angelos's law firm in a suit against the Mayor's Office of Technology. Rawlings-Blake says accepting the legal services is a breach of Baltimore's ethics code -- which says it is unacceptable to accept large gifts from people doing business with the city. Comptroller Pratt says that accepting the services is saving the city money -- and also says that her office isn't doing business with Angelos, and that she'll recuse herself if any matters related to Angelos come before the Board of Estimates (via the Baltimore Sun).
Comptroller Joan Pratt’s decision to sue Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake over a new phone system procurement raises any number of questions. WYPR’s Senior News Analyst Fraser Smith comments in his weekly essay.
The Gallaudet University Diversity Officer who was put on administrative leave for signing a petition that helped put Maryland's same sex marriage law on the November ballot is being featured in a TV ad by a group that wants that law overturned. The "Maryland Marriage Alliance" claims Dr. Angela McCaskill's suspension is evidence that opponents of same-sex marriage would be punished if the law is upheld. Groups on both sides of the marriage debate are urging that McCaskill be reinstated. And the law's supporters say the ad exaggerates facts and presents rare examples of intolerance as the norm. Gallaudet is requesting the ad be removed; and McCaskill herself says she'd prefer that it be pulled as well (via the Baltimore Sun and the Washington Post). The same-sex marriage law goes before voters this fall as "Question 6."
Your voice could be recorded the next time you take the bus. The MTA has put open microphones in 10 buses, as part of a program that will record the conversations of bus drivers and passengers (via the Baltimore Sun).
MARC's Camden and Brunswick Line trains will soon be operated and maintained by a Canadian company, which is taking over that role from CSX, which has run the trains for the last 30 years (via our wire service and the Frederick News Post).
Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold is agreeing to reimburse the county government for attorney fees -- if he loses the civil suit facing him. But the County Executive said he will not pay any settlements to the case, and won't pay any legal fees if the county settles without his permission (via our wire service and the Baltimore Sun).
Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts has been on the job for nearly a month... but he still hasn't been confirmed to his post by the Baltimore City Council. But that confirmation is getting closer; last night, the Council's executive nominations committee voted 4 to zero to confirm Batts; the full Council will likely sign off next week (via the Baltimore Sun).
Baltimore County Police Chief Jim Johnson has approved the use of metal-detecting wands in county schools starting today (via our wire service and the Baltimore Sun).
Dozens of young people packed a state Senate hearing on a proposal to spend $70-million to build a jail for juvenile offenders in Baltimore (via our wire service and marylandreporter.com).
Annapolis Mayor Josh Cohen came across an... interesting... sight yesterday afternoon at a parking garage in the state's captal. Cohen says he caught a man with, quote, "his pants down to his ankles urinating." Police later arrested the 68-year-old man and charged him with public urination (via the Baltimore Sun).
IN FOCUS TODAY
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