Baltimore opioid crisis hearing canceled; the councilor’s answer

By Tashi McQueen
AFRO Political writer
[email protected]

Baltimore City Councilman Mark Conway (D-District 4) was scheduled to lead a July 10 legislative oversight hearing on Baltimore’s newly revealed opioid crisis, but it was abruptly canceled.

The cancellation led to a public exchange about why it was canceled when Conway released one statement on the issue and said he did not agree to suspend the hearing.

The anticipated Baltimore City Council hearing on Baltimore’s opioid crisis, chaired by Councilman Mark Conway (D-District 4), was abruptly canceled on July 10. Photo: Photo courtesy of Kyle Pompey/Baltimore City Council

“I specifically asked that we hold off on any decision on the hearing until I had a strong understanding and agreement from the administration on how to move forward. We didn’t understand that,” Conway said. AFRO. – The purpose of the hearing was to understand the problem, and I have requested private hearings with the agencies that can help me understand the problem. I thought we were working to understand what that might look like. Instead, I was offered a meeting with the city attorney.”

Conway expressed that he didn’t think a meeting with the city attorney would be the best way to get the understanding he needed about where the city is on the public health crisis.

“I understand that we have ongoing litigation that we want to be careful about. I fully agree and respect that,” Conway said. “I don’t feel fully equipped to make a decision on this matter unless I can get information from our city agencies . I think that’s a pretty basic and very reasonable question.”

Mayor Brandon M. Scott (D) released a rebuttal to Conway’s comments shortly thereafter.

“Councilman Conway’s statement regarding this cancellation is categorically false. Private briefings were offered to the Councilman in lieu of a public hearing, which can only serve to jeopardize the litigation we have fought for more than six years and are now poised to win at trial later this year, Scott said. “Our administration is handling this matter with the care and concern it deserves, and has repeatedly communicated our position publicly and directly to the alderman. We will avoid doing anything that jeopardizes this case – because winning this case is in the best interest of our residents.”

Councilwoman Danielle McCray (D-District 2) also chairs legislative hearings on the opioid crisis, an ongoing work of the Health, Environment and Technology Committee since 2022. Her committee hearings are still set for July 2428 August and 25 September.

McCray did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“This is still very fresh,” Conway said. “We can come back to the idea of ​​a hearing – I’m still evaluating that.”

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