Bostick disputes 'firing' but not job loss


Baltimore City Jail Commissioner Barbara A. Bostick wants to make one thing perfectly clear -- she has not been fired.

For the past week, Ms. Bostick has refused to answer questions about her future at the jail, amid reports that state public safety officials declined to offer her a job at the new agency created to facilitate the transfer of the jail to the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, effective July 1.

BBut after The Evening Sun referred to the decision as "the firing" of Ms. Bostick and two top deputies, the jail warden said yesterday that she wanted to set the record straight.

"Recent news accounts regarding my 'firing' by the state are incorrect. I am not an employee of the state, thus, they cannot terminate my employment status," said Ms. Bostick in a statement issued by her spokesman. "I work for the mayor of Baltimore. It is true that the state has elected not to retain my services in the newly created Division of Pretrial Detention and Services. This is hardly synonymous with the reports of my being fired."

Since her appointment in October 1988, Ms. Bostick has struggled with overcrowding at the jail, a problem that escalated to a crisis in the summer of 1989. Subsequent efforts by the XTC state, local and federal courts and the criminal justice system helped to reduce the overcrowding.

She also had to contend with fallout from a grand jury investigation into the death of a jail inmate diagnosed with acquired immune deficiency syndrome and a state probe of the jail's training policies.

The decision not to offer Ms. Bostick a job was attributed to state public safety Secretary Bishop L. Robinson's preference for having his own team in place July 1.

The state also declined to offer jobs in the new agency to Ms. Bostick's two deputies, Will Manning and Michael Tidwell, and to a third, unknown ranking administrator.

The jail transfer, approved by the General Assembly this spring was heartily supported by Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke as a way to relieve the city of a social and financial burden.

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