Open Society Institute of Baltimore

Andre Davis was a high-ranking judge. He left to lead Baltimore's law department. Why?

Andre Davis was a high-ranking judge. He left to lead Baltimore's law department. Why?

The first time Mayor Catherine Pugh called Judge Andre M. Davis to offer him a job as Baltimore’s top lawyer, he turned her down.

And the second time.

Eventually, though, Davis gave in.

“My easy and quick answer was ‘no,’ ” Davis recalls. “‘I’m not leaving the bench. I love the work.’

“She came back a couple of times and prompted me to think more deeply about possibilities.”

It’s not often a federal appellate court judge — even one, like Davis, in semi-retired senior status — leaves to become a municipal employee. But Davis made the jump.

The reason? Baltimore — with its high crime rate and its police department under court-ordered reforms — needs the...

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