People, get out of the pool and get dressed

The Baltimore Sun

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, unless it involves a mayor in a bikini and a county executive with his foot in his mouth.

At a fancy reception for Maryland politicos attending the International Council of Shopping Centers Convention, Harford County Executive David Craig stepped up to say a few words. There were plenty of bigwigs gathered at Wynn Las Vegas, from other county execs to Gov. Martin O'Malley. Craig gave Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon a special shout-out.

Sadly, no one was taking notes, but I'm told this is the gist of what Craig said:

"I've seen a lot of Sheila Dixon this week, specifically this morning out by the pool when she was in her bikini."

Several hundred people cringed. One got revenge.

"Well, I saw County Executive Craig in his bathing suit and I tell you, I wouldn't want to see that again," my spies tell me Dixon said when her turn to speak came. "And I won't tell you what Martin told me to say."

Craig did not respond to calls seeking comment.

Dixon spokesman Anthony McCarthy declined to discuss Craig's comment. Nor would he confirm or deny if the mayor had, in fact, appeared in a bikini at her hotel pool. (It was said to have been very modest by bikini standards, with a matching wrap-around pool skirt.)

Not that there's anything wrong with a big-city mayor sporting a bikini. Dixon, 53, is a physically fit black-belt, and her predecessor was known for baring his biceps.

McCarthy would say this much: "If you've got it, flaunt it."

Baltimore, honey, won't you take the police back?

Why knock yourself out with zero-tolerance policing when all that's needed to bring this violent city around are some chocolates and roses?

"The way I look at trust in the community is the same way I look at a love affair," Police Commissioner Leonard Hamm said at a news conference about crime Thursday afternoon, during a stretch that was especially bloody even by Baltimore standards. "If you've ever had a lover and you cheat on her, how are you going to get that trust back?"

This from the first Baltimore police chief in memory whose love life hasn't made headlines. We had the top cop with all the girlfriends. Then the chief with two wives (only one of them official). Maybe Hamm's romantic resume isn't as boring as we've assumed.

Hamm didn't elaborate at the news conference. There was laughter, then Mayor Dixon jumped in to change the subject.

I asked police spokesman Matt Jablow if he'd explain the commish's wronged-woman analogy. Are the cops cheating on the community or is the community cheating on the cops? Jablow declined to comment.

Mayoral spokesman McCarthy was more game: "I think he probably thinks the police cheated on the community and we're trying to woo the community back."

So enough with the crime plan du jour. Just crank up the Tammy Wynette.

Connect the dots . . .

Leola Marshall claims that she got a something extra in the bag with the egg-and-cheese breakfast sandwich she picked up Friday at Lexington Market: A live mouse, which she photographed on her cell phone before turning it over to market management. The health department said it checked into the complaint and found no evidence of a rodent infestation but closed the vendor down anyway because of other violations. ... Baltimore florist Sandy Riley appears on the Style Network on Tuesday, on an episode of Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? The owner of Richardson's Flowers & Gifts was called in to solve a knotty dilemma: A bride who is severely allergic to flowers. The solution: white orchids, which are free of fragrance. ... Think your public servants were whooping it up in Sin City during that shopping center convention? Think again, said Ed Hale, one of the many developers who followed them out there. "It's looked on as a boondoggle, everybody's out there in Sodom and Gomorrah. I swear on my daughter's eyeballs, who just graduated from Goucher College today, you can't have fun. It's hard work." He added: "I didn't gamble one penny." ... Hale wasn't gambling in the sense of slots, but he was trying to pull off a humongous deal. It's retail and it's for Canton and he's very close and that's about all he'd say. He added that if it he pulls it off, the project would be "remarkable." ... Also popping up, Where's Waldo-like, in Vegas last week: Bob and Kendel Ehrlich. I hear they played lots of craps and crossed paths at least once with the guy who got them evicted from Government House. ... Chris Wilcox of the Seattle SuperSonics appeared with Mayor Dixon last week to say he'd speak with kids at recreation centers this summer, The Sun's Annie Linskey reports. Wilcox was slightly off message, admitting that some people can't be persuaded to talk to police. "I don't know how you do that," he said. "There are some people in the street who will not talk." ... State Sen. Andy Harris said he wasn't being coy when he announced last week that he'd formed an exploratory committee. He can't legally declare himself a candidate against U.S. Rep. Wayne Gilchrest until the Federal Elections Commission has his paperwork in hand. "But I tell you right now, the paperwork is in the process," he said.

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