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Paul T. Graziano

Baltimore's 'Fiddler on the Roof' 'Heil' incident shows where we are as a country

Baltimore's 'Fiddler on the Roof' 'Heil' incident shows where we are as a country

Eighteen years ago, during Martin O’Malley’s first year as mayor of Baltimore, the man he had just named housing commissioner, Paul Graziano, got drunk, loud and homophobic in a Fells Point restaurant. He used a slur and made sexually graphic comments to men he apparently thought were gay. Police handcuffed Graziano and charged him with disorderly conduct and failure to obey their lawful order.

Hours later, the charges were dropped, in keeping with the practice of the day; police and prosecutors considered the problem abated by Graziano’s arrest.

That afternoon, at a press conference, Graziano apologized profusely for his behavior. With the now-sober housing commissioner...

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