Holton pleads no contest to campaign finance violations

A Baltimore city councilwoman lost her position at the helm of a powerful committee Monday after she pleaded no contest to a campaign-finance violation related to her work on the panel.

Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young announced Monday night that he was removing Helen Holton, an accountant who represents a portion of Southwest Baltimore, as chair of the taxation and finance committee.

The move came hours after her plea to misdemeanor charges that she asked two developers to pay for a $12,500 poll, exceeding limits on political donations and circumventing campaign finance laws. As head of the committee, Holton had helped orchestrate tax breaks for the developers, bakery magnate John Paterakis Sr. and Ronald H. Lipscomb.

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