City Solicitor Neal M. Janey told a City Council committee yesterday that he never advised the housing authority board chairman to ignore a council subpoena.
Mr. Janey's testimony contradicted that of Housing Commissioner Daniel P. Henson III at Mr. Henson's reconfirmation hearing last week.
Since last year, the council's Legislative Investigative Committee has tried unsuccessfully to get Reginald C. Thomas, chairman of the board of the Housing Authority of Baltimore City, to testify about a controversial $25.6 million no-bid housing repair program. But Mr. Henson blocked the subpoena, saying that he was acting on the advice of Mr. Janey.
"I did not advise Mr. Thomas not to appear before the council," Mr. Janey told the Executive Appointments Committee during his reconfirmation hearing. He added that he has never had contact with Mr. Thomas.
"I'm flabbergasted," said 3rd District Councilman Martin O'Malley.
The council is expected to vote Monday on the reconfirmations of Mr. Janey and Mr. Henson.