Mayor Brandon Scott announced this morning that a meeting of the Inspector General Advisory Board, scheduled for this afternoon, will be postponed until October 28 “as a gesture of good faith towards the Inspector General Isabel Cumming.”
The postponement comes after The Brew reported last night that the one-day public notice given for the meeting – issued by Scott’s office and by City Solicitor James L. Shea – violated the seven-day advance public notice provisions of the City Code.
The object of the hastily called meeting was to evaluate, in a closed session, the job performance of Cumming, whose report on Marilyn Mosby’s travels as Baltimore State’s Attorney had angered both her and her husband, City Council President Nick Mosby.
After the report was issued last February, Mayor Scott came under political pressure to convene the then-inactive IG Advisory Board to review Cumming’s work.
Despite being the first Hispanic and woman to hold the position of inspector general, Cumming was attacked by the Baltimore NAACP and others for targeting the Mosbys and other Black elected officials. Cumming denied the accusations.
Power to Fire and Revise Budget
Under the City Charter, the Advisory Board is required to conduct an annual review of the inspector general and has statutory authority to both fire and hire the IG.
Six of the board’s seven members are appointees of Scott, Nick Mosby or both. Comptroller Bill Henry has one appointee.
The Baltimore inspector general can be removed from office if at least four members of the board determine that there has been:
- misconduct in office
- persistent failure to perform the duties of office, or
- conduct prejudicial to the proper administration of justice.
Cumming was appointed in January 2018 for a six-year term.
The Advisory Board is also responsible for “reviewing, revising and approving the Office of the Inspector General’s [annual] budget.”
This morning’s announcement does not mention any of this. Instead, the mayor is quoted as saying:
I support a strong and independent Inspector General. I have asked the Law Department to reschedule the Advisory Board meeting for a later date as a gesture of good faith towards the Inspector General Isabel Cumming. It is in our shared interest to eliminate corruption, improve local government practices and restore public faith in City Hall.
Reached today, Cumming declined to comment.