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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

[MD] Court of Appeals to hear Baltimore ex-Police Commissioner Kevin Clark's reasons he should get his job back

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NEWS FLASH - Court agrees to hear appeal of fired police commissioner
By Stephen Janis
Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Maryland's highest court agreed Tuesday to hear new arguments in a lawsuit that contends a former Baltimore police chief was illegally fired.

The Maryland Court of Appeals will review an appeal of a lower court ruling that threw out a wrongful termination suit filed by former Baltimore police commissioner Kevin Clarke.

Clark was fired in November 2004 by then-Mayor Martin O'Malley, who terminated the former Baltimore cop after calling a domestic dispute between Clark and his girlfriend a distraction to the city's crime-fighting efforts.

Clark's lawyer, A. Dwight Pettit, said the court's decision's means the entire case is again open to review.

"Everything is on the table," Pettit said. "We feel confident that the court will see that the law is on our side."

The court's decision marks the latest legal chapter in a case that has made its way from the lower court to the court of appeals twice. The Baltimore City Circuit Court initially tossed the case, ruling the mayor had the right to fire a police commissioner without cause.

But Clark appealed the decision to the Court of Special Appeals, which ruled that the former commissioner was a state appointee who could not be fired without cause. The case was returned to the lower court, which again refused to hear the case.

Pettit said written arguments are due Sept. 20. [LINK]
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