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Maryland Politics
Posted at 10:28 AM ET, 10/13/2011

Baker launches push for embattled nominee for Prince George’s county attorney

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker III (D) plans a major push this week to show support for his embattled nominee for county attorney.

Andree Green, who has been acting county attorney for several months ”has strengthened that office,” Baker said. “It clearly was a mess. The county was paying too much in settlements, too much for outside attorneys,” and Green has reorganized and minimized the county’s financial exposure, Baker said.

“We needed to make it a viable law firm,” said Baker, who has also hired former Circuit Court Chief Judge William D. Missouri to improve the office’s operations.

Baker said the County Council, which has expressed skepticism about Green and her approach to the job, will be receiving letters soon from lawyers and others who believe Green is highly qualified candidate for the post.

Baker, who has been in office for nearly a year, has had little trouble winning support for his cabinet nominees, but on Tuesday a council committee quizzed Green with often hostile questions and voted 4-0 to move her nomination to the full council without a recommendation.

“I did not pick this person out of the air,” Baker said. “I vetted candidates for months.”

While he is aware of the council’s worries, many of which stem from a dispute between the council and the executive over a lawsuit against the county by Reaching Hearts church, Baker said he did not think the dispute in any way disqualified Green from serving in the $160,000-a-year job.

So far, no council member has pledged to back Green. Council member Mary Lehman (D-Laurel), who represents the community where Reaching Hearts wants to build a church, school and gymnasium, said she will vote against Green. The nomination is expected to go to the full council in the next few weeks.

By  |  10:28 AM ET, 10/13/2011

 
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