Baltimore’s spending board will consider a $285,000 labor contract for a new police commissioner next week

The Baltimore Board of Assessors plans to review Richard Worley’s new employment agreement Wednesday, a document that details how much severance pay he will be entitled to if city lawmakers do not confirm him as the city’s next police commissioner the next day.

The agenda for next week’s spending board meeting values ​​the contract at $285,000 — presumably the proposed salary of Mayor Brandon Scott, the Baltimore Police Department’s chief-elect. It doesn’t explicitly state what the $285,000 price tag actually refers to, but most labor agreements processed by the spending committee use this space on the agenda to list the proposed base salary for a given employee.

The actual employment agreement for Worley, who earns about $208,000 as acting police commissioner, was not publicly available Wednesday night. When now-former Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison’s deal came up for a spending review in 2019, City Hall released a public version as soon as it was approved.

If the spending committee approves Worley’s $285,000 salary and he is confirmed by the City Council the next day, his annual salary will be about $2,500 less than what Harrison was making when — and after — he stepped down from his duties in June. The starting salary will be $10,000 more than what the council approved for Harrison’s contract when he was nominated by former Mayor Catherine Pugh in 2019.

One provision in Worley’s employment agreement details “potential severance payments if he is not approved by the City Council or in the event of a ‘termination without cause,'” according to the agenda. It’s unclear how much Worley will receive if he isn’t confirmed Thursday, but the terms of Harrison’s severance guaranteed him a year’s salary if he was suspended by the board.

At the time, the council member who chairs the public safety committee, Scott, described the pledge to pay Garrison a year’s salary as a “lottery jackpot,” setting a “dangerous precedent that taints the confirmation process.”

Worley’s employment agreement runs from June 8, the day Scott named him acting police commissioner at the same time he announced Harrison would step down, until June 7, 2026.

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