Maryland legislature approves bill to set up commission to investigate Baltimore police corruption

A state commission with subpoena power came one step closer Monday to begin investigating allegations of Baltimore police corruption, if Gov. Larry Hogan supports the idea.

The panel, which Mayor Catherine Pugh has said is unnecessary, would examine revelations from the recent trial of two city police officers who served on the corrupt Gun Trace Task Force.

Hogan told reporters Monday afternoon he had not read the bill or decided whether to sign it. But he said he is "all for taking another look at" city police corruption.

The Maryland House of Delegates on Monday unanimously approved the state Senate’s proposal for the commission, sending it to Hogan for his signature or veto. Administration officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

Members of the Gun Trace Task Force have been convicted of or pleaded guilty to racketeering and robbery after stealing large sums of money from residents. The case against the officers is among the worst corruption scandals in the police department’s history.

But Sen. Bill Ferguson, a Democrat who represents South Baltimore, proposed the commission because he said the trial raised more questions that need answering about what supervisors may have known about the unit’s actions.

The commission would spend 20 months investigating, with a preliminary report due at the end of the 2018 and a final report due at the end of 2019. It would have the power to compel testimony from witnesses and production of written and electronic records and other documents.

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