No sex, please, we're Realtors

The Baltimore Sun

Buying a house in Howard County is about to get a whole lot sexier.

Katrina Campins, a South Florida real estate agent whose biggest claim to fame is getting fired by Donald Trump, wants to sell you property in HoCo, especially if you happen to be super-rich. The South Beach-based Campins Company opens its first branch office tomorrow, in Columbia.

That promises thrills aplenty, given Campins' motto, still posted on The Apprentice Web site: "A woman that claims she doesn't use her sex appeal to sell simply hasn't learned how to use it to her advantage."

Can we expect Campins' agents to sport something racier than Century 21-style mustard blazers, like the lingerie she modeled for men's mag FHM?

"Nooo!" Deb Poquette, a RE/MAX agent moving over to Campins' firm, said with a laugh. She chalked up the "sex sells" thing to "coaching from The Apprentice, the producers."

Campins, a finalist in the reality show's first season, told me the same thing yesterday. While filming promos for the show, she said, producers were unsatisfied with her "boring, politically correct" comments, and Campins was starving for lunch. She said she gave them a provocative line just so she could get some sushi.

"It's funny how certain things stay with you for years and years," she said. "Your appearance is only going to get you so far."

Campins, 28, is billed as real estate prodigy. "[S]he 'flipped' her first investment property at age seventeen," says a press release promoting the new office. Sales from her "boutique" firm - catering to "business executives, athletes, entertainers and other prominent individuals" - put her in the top 1/2 percent of Realtors nationwide, the release states.

What, exactly, brings her to Columbia?

A fellow University of Miami grad - running back Willis McGahee - called on her when he joined the Ravens. Looking for a Baltimore-area agent to refer him to, Campins interviewed Poquette and was impressed enough to set up shop with her. Poquette will work in the Columbia office with a second agent, who happens to be her brother-in-law, Damon Poquette.

Pastor and wife involved in a schism

In divorce court: Megachurch pastor Jamal-Harrison Bryant and his wife of 5 1/2 years, Gizelle Bryant.

She filed in Montgomery County on Jan. 9, alleging adultery. She states in court papers that the pastor makes more than $350,000 a year.

He filed in Baltimore City the same day. His complaint says nothing about cheating. It does state that "there is no hope of reconciliation."

"This is a private matter between Dr. Bryant and his wife, and we'd like to keep this matter private," said Jimmy A. Bell, lawyer for the Empowerment Temple pastor.

The couple have three children, 1-year-old twins and a 3-year-old.

The big question: Who gets the Bentley?

They use words that we will not

The Wire dips again into the deep D'Alesandro well.

Last weekend on the HBO show, a fictional Sun editor recalled an actual, infamous comment from Mayor Thomas "Big Tommy" D'Alesandro Jr., father of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. When a reporter prefaced a question by saying his "desk" - The Sun's city desk - wanted to know something, D'Alesandro put his ear to his own desk and said, "My desk tells me to tell your desk to go [bleep] itself."

In a previous season, the show dramatized a famous comment from D'Alesandro's son, former Mayor Thomas D'Alesandro III. In an interview after leaving office, "Young Tommy" said being mayor was like being served plate after plate of poop. (In real life and on the show, another word was used.)

Now they send in the big guy

Circuit Court Clerk Frank Conaway has never been shy about challenging police commissioners during the monthly gathering of Baltimore criminal justice leaders. Deputy commissioners, apparently, are another matter.

At this month's Criminal Justice Coordinating Council meeting, Deputy Police Commissioner Anthony Barksdale gave a quick recap on year-end crime stats. When it came time for questions, The Sun's Doug Donovan reports, most people turned to Conaway. The petite court clerk sized up the tall, barrel-chested Barksdale.

"Given the size difference," Conaway said, he'd hold his tongue.

State's Attorney Pat Jessamy offered to help: "You want me to charge him with intimidation just for being there?"

They need help; the clock's running

First came speed dating. Now speed volunteering.

A group that wants to hook up would-be volunteers with nonprofits that could use their help is borrowing a technique used to hook up impatient singles with each other.

Volunteers and nonprofits can check each other out from noon to 2:30 p.m. Monday at the Maritime Museum in Fells Point. Business Volunteers Unlimited is organizing the event, and throwing in lunch and a little spoken-word poetry to set the matchmaking mood.

The event is free, but registration is required. Info:

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