SPLICE: Baltimore’s a City Where Greased Palms Prevail: Catherine Pugh is the wrong mayor at the wrong time by Frank A. DeFilippo

(BALTIMORE – January 28, 2018) – When Gov. Brendan Byrne (D-NJ) was the top prosecutor during the 1967 riots in Newark, he patrolled the city’s killing streets with a shotgun and, according to his recent obituary, oversaw the processing of nearly 1500 arrests. In Baltimore, Mayor Catherine Pugh, faced with the nation’s highest murder rate and a steady script of bad news, has hired a $240-an-hour public relations consultant to “change the city’s narrative.”

Between then and now, readily acknowledged, attitudes, Justice Departments, policing, capital punishment, population and long list of other social phenomena have changed—much of it for the better—but a couple of things haven’t. The drug trade is still enormously profitable, life on the streets is cheap and, according to pedagogy on the subject, it’s impossible to alter basic character. Add to the list a city where greased palms are included in the cost of doing business. Motion is not action, and replacing police commissioners—eight since 2000—as Pugh has, won’t do the trick. But at least we now know that Pugh has a pulse. READ IN FULL