Michael Harrison will start Monday as Baltimore’s acting police commissioner with a much more generous contract than the Baltimore Police Department’s past three leaders, guaranteeing him a far higher salary, raises and other perks.
But the deal also makes it easier a mayor to fire Harrison, allowing him to be cut him loose for anything that “calls into question his moral character” or “harms BPD’s reputation.”
Mayor Catherine Pugh’s office released Harrison’s contract Wednesday, after it was approved by the city Board of Estimates.
The Baltimore Sun obtained the deals signed by the last three commissioners — Darryl De Sousa (served February 2018 to May 2018), Kevin Davis (in office October 2015 to January 2018) and Anthony Batts (on the job September 2012 to July 2015) — under the Maryland Public Information Act. (The current acting commissioner, Gary Tuggle, does not have such a contract, nor did Harrison have one when he was chief of police in New Orleans.)
So, how does Harrison’s deal compare with his Baltimore predecessors?
|Harrison||At least 3 percent a year, possibly more if he hits crime reduction and personal performance goals|
|De Sousa||The same as rank-and-file officers, which is negotiated by the officers union|
|Davis||The same as rank-and-file officers|
|Batts||The same as rank-and-file officers|
Length of contract
|De Sousa||4 years, 4 months|
|Davis||4 years, 8 months|
|Batts||1 year, 9 months; with subsequent appointment to six-year term then required by law|
Severance if fired without cause
|Harrison||Balance of his contract’s value, minus any income he earns in subsequent work, paid biweekly.|
|De Sousa||$150,000, paid within 45 days|
|Davis||$150,000, paid within 45 days|
|Batts||$190,000, paid within 30 days|
|Harrison||Guarantee of a year’s salary if his nomination is rejected. Relocation expenses. Expenses for attending community events. Monthly $3,000 housing allowance for 12 months, or until his current home is sold|
|De Sousa||Relocation expenses. Expenses for attending community events|
|Davis||Relocation expenses. Expenses for attending community events.|
|Batts||Relocation expenses. Expenses for attending community events.|
Grounds for dismissal
Harrison: Failure to perform duties; breaching his contract; immorality; harming the police department’s reputation; violating equal employment opportunity rules; breaching police or city policies; chronic or excessive drinking; illegal drug use; drunk driving; indictment on a felony or serious misdemeanor; doing anything that could get a uniformed police officer fired; mental or physical incapacitation for longer than 30 days.
De Sousa: Persistent and repetitive dereliction of duty; drug use or drinking affecting his work; conviction on a drug offense; drunk driving; indictment for a felony or crime involving moral turpitude or theft; mental or physical incapacitation.
Davis: Persistent and repetitive dereliction of duty; drug use or drinking affecting his work; conviction on a drug offense; drunk driving; indictment for a felony or crime involving moral turpitude or theft.
Batts: Persistent and repetitive dereliction of duty; drug use or drinking affecting his work; conviction on a drug offense; drunk driving; indictment for a felony or crime involving moral turpitude or theft.