Baker Nomination for County Attorney Scrutinized

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M. Andree Green’s appointment as acting county attorney in July passed with little fanfare. Now, however, the Prince George’s County Council is at odds with County Executive Rushern Baker over the pick.

Baker has sung Green’s praises at every turn. He says her record of work before and since she’s been in office leads her to be the right choice to take the job permanently.

“Prince George’s County residents will be well served by M. Andree Green as Acting County Attorney.  Ms. Green has an impeccable record over the last decade of her work with the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission,” said Baker. “She is a talented and intelligent attorney as well as a dedicated legal advocate for Prince George’s County tax payers and their fiscal and quality of life interests.” 

The council doesn’t see things the same way though. Her confirmation has been held up as the council continues to discuss whether or not she’ll be working as an extension of Baker.

Green has been an attorney for over 20 years – most recently working as legal counsel to the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission. There she was lead counsel on planning and zoning matters and served in that capacity since Aug. 2000. According to reports, she has acknowledged a need to reach out to council members and assuage their fears about appointing her.

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It won’t be the first time one of Baker’s appointments has come under scrutiny or that Baker and the Council have failed to agree on something.

Baker’s appointment to head the Department of Housing and Community Development, Eric Brown was beat up in the media before his eventual confirmation for his checkered past working in similar roles in Meridian, Miss. and Birmingham, Ala. In this case, Prince George’s Real Estate Professionals for Change president Ruth Wright questioned why Brown was ever appointed at all.

“The issue was not that Mr. Brown has a questionable past, but, the county executive did not know about the past of Mr. Brown,” Wright said.??“This same system allowed (former DHCD head) James Johnson to get appointed by a 0-9 members abstaining to vote,” she continued. “This is a clear sign of a faulty system that shows no indications of being corrected by the county executive or county council.”

Furthermore, the council has yet to pass Baker’s Economic Development Incentive Fund as the two sides need to come to a consensus on the stipulations that will be placed on how funds will be distributed. A public hearing is scheduled for Nov. 1.

Baker is asking for the council to give his nomination a chance in this case though. In a radio appearance on WAMU he said that he vetted Green for eight months and is confident in her ability to lead the County Attorney office.

“Well, the first thing is, as I said to the council, I want to make sure that I have the best and brightest working for Prince George's County,” Baker said. “We have tremendous issues we have to overcome. I feel really good about Andree Green as the county attorney.”