A spokesman for Gov. Larry Hogan Monday drew a line in the sand Monday over the pending confirmation of three current nominations to the Baltimore City Liquor Board.
“The governor has absolutely no intention of submitting any other names,” said Douglass Mayer, a Hogan spokesman.
The Senate is scheduled to take up a preliminary vote Monday on an emergency bill that would require the governor to submit new appointees to the board within 15 days of the measure becoming law. The governor must take into account a number of diversity qualifications including gender, geography, and race. If he fails to meet the deadline, the bill strips the governor of the power to appoint and transfers it to the mayor and Baltimore City Council. The Senate would still have power to confirm the appointments.
Mayer said the governor hadn’t taken a position on the bill.
“Hopefully before that happens cooler, calmer heads will prevail,” Mayer said. “It’s a little ridiculous that some members of the Executive Nominations Committee are taking it this far.”
Hogan’s appointees — Benjamin A Neil, Douglas E. Trotter and Elizabeth A. Hafey — have come under increasing criticism from city residents who accuse the
board of reversing decisions of previous liquor boards and siding with problem bars and liquor stores.
Sen. Joan Carter Conway, D-Baltimore City and sponsor of the emergency bill, said last week that the three nominees would never be approved.
The Senate Executive Nominations Committee delayed a vote on the three nominees. Hogan retaliated last week by withdrawing the name of an alternate who is also the treasurer of Conway’s campaign committee.
Mayer said Hogan believes the three candidates are “well-qualified and should be approved.”
“If the Executive Nominations Committee disagrees, they should vote them down,” Mayer said.