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Baltimore City Law Department ends contract with attorney with reported neo-Nazi ties

Glen K. Allen told the New York Daily News on Wednesday night that he was a member of the National Alliance until the 1980s, first getting involved with the group because ‘I was in the U.S. Army from 1978 to 1982 and I had some pretty awful experiences with black people there, to be honest.’ He denied his ‘crazy ideas’ affected his legal work. (glenkallenlaw.com)

Glen K. Allen told the New York Daily News on Wednesday night that he was a member of the National Alliance until the 1980s, first getting involved with the group because ‘I was in the U.S. Army from 1978 to 1982 and I had some pretty awful experiences with black people there, to be honest.’ He denied his ‘crazy ideas’ affected his legal work. (glenkallenlaw.com)

The Baltimore City Law Department ended its relationship Thursday with a contract attorney less than 24 hours after it was reported he was a “dues-paying member” of a neo-Nazi group.

Glen K. Allen, who started working for the city in February, was a supporter of the National Alliance, a white nationalist, anti-Semitic group, according to an investigation by the Southern Poverty Law Center published Wednesday night.

Allen, a Baltimore solo practitioner who retired from DLA Piper US LLP in January, was listed in court records as one of the attorneys defending the city in a federal lawsuit filed last year by an African-American man who alleged he was wrongfully arrested and imprisoned for 19 years for a murder he did not commit.

The SPLC report included records showing Allen subscribed to National Alliance publications, paid to enter a Holocaust denial conference and bought a Holocaust denial DVD as recently as 2007.

“None of the historical facts and alleged facts recently publicized about Mr. Allen’s political views and affiliations were disclosed or discussed when his contract was agreed to,” the city said in a statement Thursday. “The Law Department does not as a general practice question its hired or contract attorneys about their political views.”

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake “had no involvement whatsoever” in Allen’s recruitment or hiring, the statement adds.

City Solicitor George A. Nilson declined to comment Thursday beyond the statement.

Allen did not respond to requests for comment Thursday. The statement from the city said Allen “regrets any embarrassment the public attention of the last 24 hours may have caused” Nilson or Rawlings-Blake.

Allen told the New York Daily News on Wednesday night that he was a member of the National Alliance until the 1980s. He said he got involved with the group because “I was in the U.S. Army from 1978 to 1982 and I had some pretty awful experiences with black people there, to be honest.” But he denied his “crazy ideas” affected his legal work.

“Baltimore did the right thing by canceling its contract with Glen Keith Allen,” said Heidi Beirich, who leads the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project, in an email. “With his clear ties to neo-Nazi hate groups, he never should have been employed by the city in the first place.”

Allen, was admitted to the Maryland Bar in 1987 after graduating from the University of Maryland School of Law, according to his website. He served as a law clerk to then-Court of Appeals Chief Judge Robert C. Murphy from 1987 to 1988.

Allen spent 27 years in DLA Piper’s litigation department, where he was part of a team of lawyers who prepared the Mitchell Report documenting steroid use in Major League Baseball that was released in 2007, according to his website. He lists First Amendment law, securities fraud and commercial litigation among his areas of practice.

Pending litigation

The wrongful arrest lawsuit remains pending in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, according to online court records. Sabein Burgess, the plaintiff, was freed two years ago after spending almost two decades in prison for the murder of his girlfriend, according to his lawsuit.

Burgess sued seven individual police officers, the Baltimore Police Department, the city and a crime laboratory analyst, alleging the officers fabricated their police reports and conspired with the analyst to fabricate gunshot residue evidence to incriminate Burgess.

The officers knew that the victim’s son saw someone who was not Burgess barge into the home right before she was killed, Burgess claimed, but reported instead that all of the victim’s children had been asleep at the time of the crime.

Burgess was found guilty after a two-day trial and sentenced to life in prison. In 2014 — years after another man confessed to the murder — his conviction was vacated.