BALTIMORE -- Baltimore City's Board of Ethics wants to pump the brakes on a newly passed bill that would change pension eligibility requirements for elected officials.
On Monday, Ethics Board Chair Stephan Fogleman wrote a letter to Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott. In the letter, he asked the city leader to delay a decision on the bill.
In an 8-5 vote on Nov. 21, the city council approved the decision to reduceneeded to qualify for a pension from 12 to 8.
The bill now needs the mayor's signature by January. However, the Ethics Board wants to issue an opinion before that deadline analyzing the legislation to ensure it aligns with the city code.
"The ethics board is concerned it is impossible for the current council, while in term, to have voted in favor of the amendment without giving the appearance of a conflict of interest," Fogleman said in the letter.
Council President Nick Mosby, the bill's sponsor, said changes to the retirement plan for elected officials were necessary after the majority of voters passed "Question K", which limits elected city officials to two, four-year terms in office.
The newly passed retirement benefits legislation comes with controversy from sitting city council members to some residents.
In a Tweet Tuesday, Councilman Zeke Cohen typed in part "President Mosby's bill creates a clear conflict of interest."
Councilman Ryan Dorsey also took to Twitter following the vote last week to announce he intended on introducing a bill that would repeal term limits.
Some residents support the idea of the Ethics Board asking the mayor to hold off on signing the bill until it can be compared with the city code to ensure there is not a conflict of interest.
"I think there should be scrutiny for these things, certainly, and oversight. Not to the point where everything is mired in bureaucracy, but this seems like a wise decision," Baltimore resident Matthew Byars said.
The mayor's office did not immediately respond to our request for comment Tuesday.
for more features.