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The Glover Report: An interesting week of Baltimore politics

By Doni Glover, Publisher
www.bmorenews.com
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(BALTIMORE – February 27, 2021) – Old school politicians say ‘do the work.’ New school politicians instead opt to go for headlines almost daily it seems, especially in Charm City.

Old school says, if you go after the king, don’t miss! New school seems to disregard conventional wisdom and instead opts to go for broke.

What’s the point of a freshman Baltimore mayor still on his honeymoon publicly swinging on a lame-duck Republican governor with a massive approval rating in a 2-to-1 Democratic state, who fervently stood against the antics of Pres. Donald Trump, and who has even shown inklings of a presidential bid, particularly based on fuzzy math in the middle of a pandemic?

Can someone tell me how the people of Baltimore benefit by being dragged into what is being characterized somehow as racist but could be just political banter across the aisle? After all, next year there is a race for governor of Maryland – a position Baltimore Solicitor Jim Shea ran for in 2018. Right?

Who gets the vaccine first? Nursing home patients and front line workers – beginning in hospitals.

At the end of the day, people just want to get served and could care less about the politics.

In other news, Baltimore City Councilman Ryan Dorsey has been on a roll lately. He’s called out the Governor and he’s called out the FOP. Both were called racists. In fact, he called Gov. Larry Hogan a “lying racist scumbag”. The FOP, most would agree. The gov, though?

You know what’s really racist? Bike lanes! (Nuff said.)

You know what’s ridiculous, Councilman Dorsey? Messing with a delivery man working on the front lines in the middle of a pandemic. (Not good.)

Baltimore’s Black “power couple” – the Mosbys – is back in the news – if they ever left.

Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby captured the hearts and minds of many Baltimoreans in 2015 by charging 6 officers in the death of Freddie Gray. The city had just endured its first riot in 47 years under then-Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

Nick Mosby, the City Council President, is clearly eyeing the mayorship – much the same way Mayor Brandon Scott was standing over then-Mayor Bernard “Jack” Young’s shoulder.

State’s Attorney Mosby invited Inspector General Isabel Cumming to investigate her. Let’s not do that in the future.  

I think what most people will question is how the State’s Attorney could be away for 144 days when murders are through the roof.

In any event, an interesting ensemble of Black leaders sent out a statement this week condemning Cumming. What caught my eye was seeing former Mayor Jack Young’s name in the mix. Quite candidly, I was pleasantly surprised to see Baltimore NAACP President Kobi Little’s name at the top of this list. I also smiled to myself seeing Rev. Kevin Slayton involved.

According to the Baltimore Brew: The group, which included former Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young, said they “demand equity in investigations” by Inspector General Isabel Mercedes Cumming in the wake of her report on the travels, gifts and private businesses of State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby.

While I commend Jack Young’s desire to rally around Marilyn Mosby, I find it very interesting for the former mayor to come out on an issue after months of quiet.

I really thought we were done with that chapter. But, since we are re-opening the door for questions, I have a heap of them – like why did you fire the City’s MBE chief, Tamara Brown, who was making unprecedented strides to correct historically corrupt bid and no-bid processes that hardly benefit Black contractors in a majority Black city? Or, why did you hire a white food service to handle the contract for the last AFRAM, Baltimore’s historically Black cultural festival?

For a bit more insight, we did speak with Attorney J. Wyndal Gordon, who articulated his reason for standing with the group against Cummings.

He told BmoreNews, “I thought it was a hack job, quite frankly.” He added, “I thought it was shameful.”

He continued, “I wasn’t painting Inspector General Isabel Mercedes Cumming with the broad brush of ‘racial targeting’, although I haven’t dismissed the notion en toto either. I’m concerned about the apparent lack of fundamental fairness grounded in principles of due process and equal protection. I question her decision not to consider exculpatory and mitigating information presented to address concerns in her report on the State’s Attorney that contradicted her final recitation of facts and conclusions. I also question Cumming’s failure to follow the national professional standards of OIGs as set forth by GAGAS, as well as her jurisdiction to conduct such an investigation of Mosby from the very start. Although Mosby invited Cumming’s office to investigate her activities, Cumming’s should have respectfully declined the invitation because, to me, it was unclear whether Mosby was subject to her investigative authority. Mosby is not a city employee. She’s a state employee. In my opinion, the OIG should not have been the office to conduct the investigation because it is unclear to me whether it has the authority to investigate a State official. And where such uncertainty exists, she should have respectfully declined the invitation and/or referred the matter to the State Prosecutor. The appearance of impropriety as a result of investigatory overreach by an ethics leader is just as offensive and appalling to me as actual overreach. As the ethics leader for the City of Baltimore, Cumming should be held to a higher standard and her ethics should be beyond reproach. Moreover, from my perspective, there appears to be a clear conflict of interest for the City OIG to investigate the integrity of the SAO and the SA when she uses that very office and elected official to assist with the criminal prosecutions of ethics violations in the city the rise to the level of criminal offenses. It’s very disquieting when we have questions about the integrity and ethics of our very own ethics officials who hold an office that is virtually unchecked or balanced. When it comes to investigatory overreach and potentially acting beyond the scope of their chartered or constitutional authority prescribed by law, this becomes a very serious concern worthy of public attention and scrutiny. If there is any question or ambiguity regarding the enforcement of a law, rule, statute, ordinance, or administrative policy or procedure, –especially when it comes to their unclear applicability to the related activities of an elected official or State’s Attorney, then the ethics official should have respectfully deferred passing judgment of any kind and referred the law, rule, etc., to the executive or legislative branches of government to clarify the ambiguities and create clear policy, free of ambiguity. In other words, if there is any ambiguity in any enforcement effort taken on by the OIG, then Cumming should not be attempting to enforce those laws or justify a wasteful investigation and poorly drafted report, but she should instead be advocating for clarity and clearer legislation or policy from the body who enacted them. In my opinion, Cumming wanted a prize. She wanted Marilyn’s head on the mantel. And the reports were so anticlimactic in proportion to the effort put into it that she should really be ashamed for trying to make something out of this. Instead of doubling back to make sure her report was as fair and accurate, and considered and reported all of the information reasonably available to her, she doubled-down on an erroneous position that has brought her office into disrepute due to a lack of integrity. I think it showed the true pettiness of the leadership in that office. As far as all of this black and white stuff is concerned, I don’t know much about it. But from what I’ve learned from her report on Marilyn Mosby, and Mosby’s rebuttal, both of which are now in the public domain, is that her investigations cannot be trusted. And her reputation of being fair and impartial, in my opinion, has been irreparably compromised. How does a government or elected official, or employee not well financed defend themselves against the largess of the ethics office that acts like a run-away freight train? Consequently, I question the fairness and accuracy of any investigatory report coming from her office. If he could do this to Mosby, lesser city officials really don’t stand a chance when Cumming is on the warpath.”

So, this is just a sampling of this week’s news in Baltimore with a bit of indigenous perspective. There’s so much more to discuss, like the 2022 Governor’s race and the Comptroller’s race. Water bills are also on our radar. Actually, I was wondering what the Inspector General has to say about that. And what about the millions of dollars in no-bid contracts that go through without ever seeing the Board of Estimates.

For more, do check-out the BmoreNews Report on WEAA 88.9 FM‘s Hiphop Chronicles every Thursday at midnight. And be sure to tune-in to the BlackUSA.News Morning Show from 10 to 11 am EST on Facebook & YouTube.