Scott Names Jim Shea Solicitor, Creates Cabinet-Level Equity Position

    In 2018, as he ran a longshot bid for governor, prominent Baltimore attorney James L. Shea tapped then-Baltimore City Councilman Brandon M. Scott (D) to be his running mate.

    The run for lieutenant governor boosted Scott’s public profile and put him in closer contact with some of the most prominent political and civic players around the city and state.

    Now Scott, in office as mayor for just three weeks, is putting Shea to work: He announced Tuesday that Shea will become the city’s solicitor beginning in January.

    Scott also announced that he is appointing Acting City Solicitor Dana P. Moore to serve as Baltimore’s first chief equity officer, and that he is making the job a cabinet-level position.

    As city solicitor, Shea will lead the Law Department and serve as legal adviser to the city. By charter, he will also serve as a member of the Board of Estimates.

    James L. Shea

    Jim brings unmatched legal and civic experience to City Hall, and he is committed to charting a new course for Baltimore,” Scott said in a statement. “His dedication to good lawyering, equity and accountability will make him an effective City Solicitor and critical part of my team as we work to build a better city.”

    Shea is chairman emeritus of Venable LLP, the international law firm with over 800 attorneys headquartered in Baltimore. He served as managing partner and then chair of the firm between 1995-2017.

    Shea also has a sterling resume of civic service. He chaired the University System of Maryland Board of Regents and was the founding chairman of the Central Maryland Transportation Alliance. He served as chairman of the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore and Empower Baltimore Management Corporation.

    He has also served on the Equal Justice Council of the Maryland Legal Aid Bureau, the board of the Greater Baltimore Committee and the board of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce.

    Scott said that Moore, in addition to becoming chief equity officer, will also be the director of the Office of Equity and Civil Rights for the city, tasked with advancing equity, upholding local and federal civil rights laws and local living and prevailing wage laws, and providing oversight of local law enforcement.

    “Baltimore’s legacy of inequitable policies and practices has been further exacerbated by the current public health pandemic,” Scott said. “Over this term and beyond, we must be unafraid to confront our past and lay the foundation for an equitable city.”

    Moore is the first woman to serve as city solicitor in Baltimore, a role she assumed in March 2020. She has led the city’s legal response to the pandemic, helping convert the Baltimore Convention Center into a field hospital, establishing testing sites throughout the city and negotiating terms to convert hotels into respite sites. Prior to serving as acting city solicitor, Moore served as deputy city solicitor.

    Before that, she was a commissioner on the Planning Commission and the Baltimore City Board of Liquor License Commissioners. She also served on the Board of Ethics, where she authored the board’s first annual report.

    Moore has served on numerous nonprofit boards, including Mother Seton Academy, the Bates College Board of Trustees and the Board of Directors of the Monumental City Bar Association, the National Bar Association, the Elijah Cummings Youth Program, Marian House, Inc. and CLIA – Community Law in Action.

    Moore has run her own law practice, where she assisted small, minority and women owned businesses. She has also worked for Venable LLP, Whiteford, Taylor & Preston, and Tydings & Rosenberg, P.A.

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    Josh Kurtz
    Co-founder and Editor Josh Kurtz is the leading chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He later became an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, and spent eight years at E&E News, an online subscription-only publisher of news websites covering energy and environmental issues. For seven of those years, he led a staff of 20 reporters at E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill and in national politics. For 6 1/2 years he wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz has given speeches and appeared on TV and radio shows about Maryland politics through the years.