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Accountabilityby Fern Shen12:15 pmFeb 16, 20240

Ethics Board won’t require last names of Mayor Scott’s baby registry donors

Despite donations coming from “Weasel,” “Aunt Fuff” and other unidentifiable parties, the panel won’t act because there are no specific allegations that any donor conducted business with the city

Above: From the public portion of the Feb. 14 Baltimore Ethics Board meeting, members John McCauley, Arnold Sampson, Noelle Winder Newman and (bottom right) Chairman Stephan Fogleman.

Mayor Brandon Scott and fiancée Hana Pugh will not be required to fully identify the people or organizations that donated more than $12,000 worth of baby merchandise, gift cards and cash to an online baby registry they set up, Baltimore’s Ethics Board has decided.

Many of the people who sent presents and cash through the Babylist.com portal were identified only by their first names or nicknames, such as Suki, Chapel, Weasel, Garfield, Kelly and Aunt Fuff.

Others had untraceable organization names. For example, a donor identified as “Canton Against Crime” purchased a $550 infant car seat stroller for the couple.

None of the 125 individuals or groups listed included an address.

“The board deliberated on this and determined that the board was presented with no facts or allegations that anyone is a required person to be identified,” said staff director J. Christoph Amberger.

“As long as there were no facts alleged that any of these were controlled donors [people doing business with the city], the board has nothing to go on,” Amberger said, describing its conclusion after meeting in closed session on Wednesday.

“If there were a complaint, the board would proceed from there.”

Asked how the public could obtain more information to identify the donors, Amberger referred The Brew to Scott’s office, which has not responded to questions about the last names and addresses.

Cash gifts and Uber Eats gift cards are among the hundreds of requests on the baby registry set up for Mayor Brandon Scott, his fiance and their newborn son. (babylist.com)

Cash gifts and Uber Eats gift cards were among the hundreds of requests on the baby registry set up for Mayor Brandon Scott, his fiancee and their newborn son. (babylist.com)

Case Closed

After The Brew reported on the existence of the Charm Jamie Scott Registry – the baby was born on December 26 – Scott switched the registry from a public to a “private” setting.

Scott and his fiancee are soliciting gift cards, cash and supplies online for their newborn (12/27/23)

The mayor subsequently provided a list of donors to the board as part of an ethics disclosure form due from elected officials at the end of each January.

Many of the baby donors were city employees, such as Chief Administrative Officer Faith Leach (a $279.99 travel crib) and City Solicitor Ebony Thompson (a $100 gift card).

But others, with only first names or nicknames, could not be identified.

Section 7-23 of the city ethics law requires elected officials to disclose annually any gift with a value of $20 or more, especially from a controlled donor or a lobbyist.

Such information should include “the identity of the person from whom the gift was received.”

Amberger was asked if this is the final decision to be made on the matter by the board, whose members are nominated by the mayor (three members), City Council president (one member) and comptroller (one member).

He said it would not likely come up at a future meeting “unless circumstances changed.”

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