Jill P. Carter has resigned her position as director of Baltimore's Office of Civil Rights and Wage Enforcement and was sworn in Friday to the state Senate.
In an interview Friday, Carter said she had not intended to resign, but recently learned state law prohibits her from holding the director position as a sitting senator. She said she felt she could "be of best service to Baltimore" by "advocating at the state level where I can have the most impact."
She said she intends to accept a deputy director position in the Civil Rights office.
Charles G. Byrd Jr., who was hired in February to oversee reviews of police abuse and discrimination as the deputy director of Baltimore’s Office of Civil Rights and Wage Enforcement, was disbarred last year for misappropriating funds belonging to his private law firm, according to court records.
The resignations come at a critical time for the office, which oversees the Civilian Review Board — a panel that provides civilian oversight for police, reviewing cases of alleged misconduct and providing recommendations to the Police Department.
Improved civilian oversight of police is a goal of the city's consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice, and a separate panel is considering ways to improve that oversight. Carter has said the Civilian Review Board, and by extension the Civil Rights office, should have a larger oversight role and more authority to enforce proper policing in the city.