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Jim Shea Named City Solicitor, Dana Moore To Become First Chief Equity Officer

the office of mayor brandon scott

  Mayor Brandon Scott has named Jim Shea, his former running mate in the 2018 gubernatorial race, to be Baltimore City’s top lawyer, while former Acting City Solicitor Dana P. Moore has been named the city's first Chief Equity Officer. 

Shea, chairman emeritus of Venable LLP, the state’s largest law firm, previously served as managing partner and chair of the firm from 1995 to 2017, shortly before his gubernatorial run. 

In a statement, Scott cited Shea’s legal and civic experience throughout the state.

“His dedication to good lawyering, equity and accountability will make him an effective city solicitor and critical part of my team as we work to build a better city,” the Democrat said.

Shea, a wealthy white businessman described by the Baltimore Brew as the “éminence grise of Baltimore white-shoe lawyers” tapped Scott, a young, progressive Black man, as his running mate in a bid for the governor’s office in 2018, boosting the then-city councilman’s statewide recognition. The pair placed a distant third in the Democratic primary.

In an interview with WYPR during their campaign, Shea called Scott “part of a generation of leaders that are not interested in doing things the same old way” while Scott noted that “Jim showed me Potomac, Maryland and I showed him Potomac Street in Baltimore.”

Credit City of Baltimore
Acting City Solicitor Dana P. Moore was named Baltimore's first Chief Equity Officer by Mayor Scott on Tuesday.

In his new office, Shea will run the Law Department and act as Scott’s chief legal advisor. 

He also will serve as a member of the powerful Board of Estimates, which oversees the city’s spending. The five-member board is controlled by the mayor, who appoints two non-elected members of the board who traditionally vote alongside their boss.

Shea oversaw the state’s public colleges and universities as a member of the Board of Regents of the University System of Maryland and pushed for the Kirwan Commission’s recommendations for increased public school spending. He helped found the Central Maryland Transportation Alliance advocacy group and his gubernatorial platform included reviving the Red Line plan axed by Gov. Larry Hogan.

He received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University and his JD from the University of Virginia Law School. Shea will begin his post next month.

Scott tapped Acting City Solicitor Dana Moore as the city’s first Chief Equity Officer, a cabinet-level position that leads the new Office of Equity and Civil Rights. She is tasked with advancing equity throughout the city; her duties will include upholding local and federal civil rights and providing Baltimore Police Department oversight.

Moore was appointed as interim head of the Law Department by ex-Mayor Jack Young in March, after the retirement of former Solicitor Andre Davis. She became the first woman to hold the title and was immediately tasked with developing the city’s legal response legal response to the coronavirus pandemic. She received an undergraduate degree from Bates College and her JD from Washington & Lee University School of Law.

Moore has served on the city’s Board of Ethics, the Planning Commission and the Baltimore City Board of Liquor License Commissioners. 

Scott said the pandemic’s widening of existing disparities means the city requires “the kind of leadership, hard work, expertise, and collaboration that have been hallmarks of Solicitor Moore’s career.”

Moore will also begin her new post in January.


Emily Sullivan is a city hall reporter at WYPR, where she covers all things Baltimore politics. She joined WYPR after reporting for NPR’s national airwaves. There, she was a reporter for NPR’s news desk, business desk and presidential conflicts of interest team. Sullivan won a national Edward R. Murrow Award for an investigation into a Trump golf course's finances alongside members of the Embedded team. She has also won awards from the Chesapeake Associated Press Broadcasters Association for her use of sound and feature stories. She has provided news analysis on 1A, The Takeaway, Here & Now and All Things Considered.
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