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Brown names transition team leaders for civil rights, other policy areas

Anthony Brown, Democratic nominee for Maryland Attorney General, greets supporters during an election night gathering, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Incoming Maryland Attorney General Anthony G. Brown on Thursday named leaders of transition teams focused on civil rights, consumer protection, the environment, equity and ethics, labor, procurement and public safety as he prepares to take office early next year.

The formation of these seven teams follows Brown’s announced plans to substantially increase the office’s functions to investigate crimes that cross county lines and to bring civil suits in cases of alleged housing and marketplace discrimination.

Brown has said he also intends to appoint a lawyer to serve as an ombudsman to ensure the office’s representation of state agencies or other actions do not have the unintended effect of harming minorities.

“Justice and equity will be central to my efforts as Maryland’s chief legal officer and our approach to issues impacting our state,” Brown said in a statement announcing his appointees to lead the seven teams.

The leaders will receive public comments as they prepare guidance for Brown, whom Maryland voters elected this month to succeed retiring Attorney General Brian E. Frosh.

“These leaders bring decades of legal, policy and professional experience and are experts in each of their fields,” Brown stated. “Their work as part of this transition will be critical to ensuring a strong foundation and clear path forward as we continue to serve the people of Maryland.”

The civil rights team will be led by employment law attorney Tiffany Releford, a partner at Whiteford Taylor Preston LLP in Washington, and Steven Hawkins, former executive vice president and chief program officer for the NAACP.

The consumer protection team will be led by Nichole McConlogue, former manager of the Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland’s consumer protection project, and Paul Tiburzi, who chairs DLA Piper’s state public policy and administrative law practice in Baltimore.

The environmental team will be led by Melanie Hartwig Davis, a board member of the Maryland League of Conservation Voters, and Edward Gibbs, a partner at Gibbs and Haller in Upper Marlboro who represents clients seeking approval for complex mixed-use development projects.

The equity and ethics team will be led by Maryland Bar Counsel Lydia E. Lawless and Caroline Laguerre-Brown, George Washington University’s vice president for diversity, equity and community engagement.

The labor team will be led by Roxie Herbekian, president of UNITE HERE Local 7, which represents Maryland’s hotel, gaming and food service workers, and union lawyer Joel Smith, counsel at Kahn, Smith & Collins PA in Baltimore.

The procurement team will be led by Franklin Lee, a partner at Tydings & Rosenberg LLP in Baltimore who has advised businesses on regulatory compliance and government agencies on commercial non-discrimination policies; Scott A. Livingston, who chairs Rifkin Weiner Livingston LLC’s state contracting, procurement and bid protests practice in Bethesda; and Norman Earl Parker Jr., assistant deputy Howard County solicitor who practiced municipal finance law at Semmes, Bowen & Semmes in Baltimore.

The public safety panel will be led by University of Maryland law professor Michael Pinard, co-director of the school’s clinical law program, and Brown Goldstein & Levy partner Chelsea Crawford, who represents clients in wrongful conviction, police misconduct and disability rights cases from the firm’s Baltimore office.

Brown also named as senior transition advisers former Chief Deputy D.C. Attorney General Jason Downs; University of Maryland law professor Larry S. Gibson; National Capital Planning Commission Commissioner Elizabeth M. “Betty” Hewlett; Timothy Maloney, of Joseph, Greenwald  & Laake PA in Greenbelt; Elisabeth A. Sachs, Baltimore County Executive John Olszewski’s director of government reform and strategic initiatives; and Tom Perez, former U.S. labor secretary and assistant U.S. attorney general for civil rights.

Brown’s transition steering committee is chaired by Donald B. Tobin, former dean of the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, and former Howard County Circuit Judge Donna Hill Staton.