I am constantly amazed by either the naiveté of The Sun or its deliberate attempt to obfuscate the reality of Baltimore City politics. I have read several times now that the city solicitor and the inspector general are somehow reviewing the charges made by Comptroller Joan Pratt that MayorStephanie Rawlings-Blakecircumvented the purchasing process in "phone-gate," and I can't help but chuckle.
The solicitor is, by design, a political hack and mayoral appointee whose sole responsibility is to give legal cover to whatever it is that his boss does or does not do. The inspector general was created by executive order by then-Mayor Martin O'Malley and, once again, he or she is appointed by and responsible to the mayor. Indeed, the very first thing then-Mayor Sheila Dixon did upon her ascension to the office was "can" the inspector general and seat one not likely to be the source of bad press.
I've had more than my share of experience with both offices, and for The Sun to suggest or imply that either or both is a reliable source of independent review is either pathetic or conspiratorial.
As an aside, again by direct experience, "blanket contracts" do not allow carte blanche authority to do or purchase whatever one might want to do under such a contract but are limited to the specifics of that blanket contract. In this instance, while I do not claim to know the specifics, a blanket contract to provide computer equipment does not allow or provide for purchases of telephone equipment.
Stephan G. Fugate, Baltimore