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Baltimore mayor names pick to Stadium Authority board

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Baltimore mayor names pick to Stadium Authority board

Mar 16, 2023 | 6:50 am ET
By William F. Zorzi
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Baltimore mayor names pick to Stadium Authority board
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Justin Williams, Baltimore’s deputy mayor for community and economic development, has been nominated as the mayor’s appointee to the Maryland Stadium Authority board. City of Baltimore photo.

Baltimore Mayor Brandon M. Scott has named the deputy mayor for community and economic development to be his representative on the Maryland Stadium Authority board, sending the name to the Senate for confirmation.

Scott (D) nominated Justin A. Williams, a lawyer who is currently vice chairman of the Maryland State Board of Elections, to the board of the powerful and prestigious Stadium Authority, which oversees hundreds of millions of dollars in capital projects each year.

Williams is subject to the advice and consent of the Maryland Senate, the same as a gubernatorial nominee. His nomination was received Wednesday by the Senate and sent to the Executive Nominations Committee for consideration.

He would take the slot now held by Michael G. Huber, Scott’s former chief of staff, who left city employment last Sept. 2 to take a position at Johns Hopkins University’s Office of State and Local Affairs. Scott asked Huber to resign the authority post upon Williams’s confirmation.

Efforts to reach Williams or a spokesperson in Scott’s office Wednesday were unsuccessful.

The name of one of Gov. Wes Moore’s nominees to the Stadium Authority board was held Monday night by Executive Nominations, after a report in Maryland Matters about the troubled 35-year financial history of his selection, Yolanda Maria Martinez.

It remains unclear whether her nomination will be voted on by the committee before the legislature adjourns April 10, but Moore administration officials appeared Wednesday to be steadfastly behind her. The governor said Monday that he was excited to have her on the Stadium Authority board, but that was hours before the Senate committee held up her nomination.

Moore had also named Craig A. Thompson, his political campaign chairman, to chair the Stadium Authority board. Thompson asked the former chairman, Thomas E. Kelso, who had been Gov. Larry Hogan’s appointee, to attend his first meeting last Tuesday, and he did.

The third Moore nominee to the Stadium Authority board whose name was sent down in governor’s “green bag” appointments, is architect Lee Coplan, who is scheduled to appear Monday before Executive Nominations. Late last month he announced his retirement from Hord Coplan Macht, the Baltimore architecture firm he founded and headed as chief executive officer.

Williams, Scott’s pick for the board, is a lawyer who has worked in city government in a variety of positions, including as a CitiStat analyst and more recently as a top adviser to the mayor, overseeing a number of key city departments and agencies. He is a nephew of House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones (D-Baltimore County).

Minutes from the Jan. 19 state election board meeting show that Williams had disclosed two campaign contributions to the panel: a $46 contribution to Senate President Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore City), and two tickets, at $125 each, to the inaugural ball for Governor Wes Moore (D) and Lt. Governor Arunah Miller (D).

It is anticipated that Williams will resign from the election board if confirmed to this new post.