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Dueling Bills Over Speed Camera Fallout Reveal Divided Council
Updated: Friday, February 7 2014, 04:57 PM EST
Two competing pieces of legislation to deal with the city's beleaguered speed camera program reveal a council divided on how to handle the fallout over an error plagued system.
Monday's council agenda features two bills addressing separate investigations into the camera system that has been subject to a barrage of criticism since The Baltimore Sun obtained a secret audit that showed an error rate of 10%, higher than city officials originally admitted.
City Councilman Jim Kraft will introduce a bill that spells out the scope of subpoena powers for the Judiciary committee he chairs. Earlier this week the council voted to move those powers to Kraft's committee from Taxation and Finance, chaired by councilman Carl Stokes.
Meanwhile Stokes is seeking a separate hearing to investigate the costs of hiring multiple consultants to fix the system the bill characterized as "failed."
The competing proposals come as tensions in the council mount over the direction and scope of the probe that could result in subpoenas and testimony under oath from city officials involved in the city's speed camera program.
Earlier this week City Council President Jack Young summoned Kraft and Stokes for a sit-down meeting in his office to discuss the pending investigation. Young would not comment on the meeting or discuss its outcome, but he emphasized the need for the council to work together to manage the process.
"I'm not interested in personalities," he told FOX45. "I want the council to focus on getting the facts."
Both Kraft and Stokes could not be reached for comment