A development team including a contractor with whom Mayor Sheila Dixon had a relationship was chosen last year for a $200 million project in Southwest Baltimore, even though an independent city panel urged that the contract be awarded to another firm.
The redevelopment of Uplands, a boarded-up apartment complex off Edmondson Avenue, has been described as one of the largest projects of its kind on the East Coast. Dixon recently acknowledged having a personal relationship in 2003-2004 with a developer who later got a stake in the deal.
Amazingly, there are people stepping up to take the bullet for Dixon on this one:
Selection of the developer came a few months after Dixon took office as mayor, but city officials said she played no role in influencing the outcome of the process. Several residents said they, not Dixon, were the ones who advocated reversing the panel’s decision because they opposed the team initially recommended for the site.
Sorry, but I call shenanigans on this one. Because in all reality, does anybody really believe that city officials who work for the Mayor are going to keep the Mayor out of the loop on such a high profile project? Because I certainly don’t. And even if Dixon had “no role in influencing the outcome” of the selection of Doracon, there are ways for the Mayor of the city to influence the outcome without influencing the outcome.
Who does Dixon think she’s fooling anymore?