The professional status of Ebony Thompson, announced today as Baltimore city attorney, does not meet the requirements of the Baltimore charter that a city attorney must have practiced law for at least 10 years.
Thompson received his law degree from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 2013 and went to work that year in the Baltimore office of Venable LLP. While in law school, he joined Venable.
Online Maryland Court records show that Ebony Monet Thompson entered the party on December 19, 2013.
It appears that a minimum of one year of degree is required to fulfill this requirement:
“The City Attorney is a member of the Maryland Bar, who has practiced law for not less than 10 years,” says the Charter on page 177.
The Maryland Code for Business Occupations and Professions, Article § 10-601, further states that “no person may practice, attempt to practice, or offer to practice law in the State unless to the Site.”
Monica Lewis, a spokeswoman for Mayor Brandon Scott, did not respond to emails or inquiries about Thompson’s legal experience or qualifications under the charter.
Powers of Attorney
Currently the deputy attorney and acting chief of staff for Mayor Scott, Thompson was announced as the new city attorney in a press release issued by the mayor’s office earlier today.
Appointed by City Attorney James L. Shea as his deputy, Thompson left private practice in Venable last January.
Today Shea announced his plans to retire. Shea was hired as city attorney in 2021 at a salary of $188,000. He also did not respond to questions about Thompson’s experience.
Thompson’s salary was not announced today by the mayor’s office.
The position that Shea is leaving is that Thompson is one of the most influential people in city government.
Under the charter, the city attorney is the chief legal counsel and representative of the city and its various departments, officers, commissions, boards, and authorities, and has the authority and direction in the legal business of the city.
The attorney also serves as one of the mayor’s advisors on the five-member spending board, the Board of Appraisals.
Mayor Scott calls Thompson “the best team player.”
The panel, which includes the mayor, City Council president, superintendent and director of the Department of Public Works, will receive multimillion-dollar tax breaks, development grants and contracts. , to purchase property, channels and government funds and government funds to private and public enterprises. and set water and sewer rates.
Scott expressed confidence in Thompson, describing him in a press release as “the best player.”
“I am excited to see him continue to lead this new endeavor and look forward to his continued contributions to make the organization stronger and more effective,” he said.