The Annapolis housing authority created a new position for Carl O. Snowden, whom the city's mayor decided not to reappoint to the authority's board.
Snowden's five-year term as chairman of the board of the Housing Authority of the City of Annapolis is due to expire at the end of July. Mayor Mike Pantelides declined to reappoint Snowden.
The housing authority board voted on Monday night to create a new position called "chairman emeritus" and appointed Snowden to the position.
Snowden announced his new position later Monday at the Annapolis City Council meeting, after lambasting the mayor.
Snowden claimed Pantelides reneged on a promise to not criticize one another publicly. The mayor's announcement earlier this month that he would not reappoint Snowden came while Snowden was out of town.
"Mr. Mayor, you cannot select our leaders," Snowden said. "You cannot tell us who we should be supporting and who speaks for us. When you attempt to do that, you display an insensitivity to the African-American community." Snowden is black; Pantelides is white.
Pantelides shot back that the purpose of Snowden's appearance was supposed to be for an update on housing issues, "not a 20-minute trash session."
Pantelides had said during his mayoral campaign last fall that he would not support Snowden, a longtime civil rights figure who also has had brushes with the law. Pantelides has said members of the housing authority's board should be held to the same standards as residents who live in the housing authority homes.
Snowden was convicted in 2012 on a marijuana possession charge in Baltimore, though he later succeeded in having the conviction switched to probation before judgment, according to court records. The marijuana charge led to a violation of probation in an earlier drunken-driving case and Snowden served a week in an Anne Arundel County jail in 2013.
Snowden had worked for the Office of the Attorney General as the office's civil rights director from 2006 until he resigned in 2012 in the wake of the marijuana conviction. At the time, Snowden described his departure as a retirement.
Snowden remains involved with the local NAACP and an annual Martin Luther King Jr. awards banquet. He also is the organizer of the Caucus of African-American Leaders. He also served three terms as an Annapolis alderman.
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