By J. K. Schmid, Special to the AFRO
A Baltimore rising star has been named to the Restore Trust in Policing Commission.
The commission, a direct response to the flagrant and rampant corruption of the Baltimore Police Department’s Gun Trace Task Force, was established at the end of August.
Alicia Wilson, is the senior vice president of Impact Investments and senior legal counsel of the Port Covington Development team. She is now also leading the Port Covington Impact Investment Team.
AFRO questions about her new roles and her part in the commission were answered via email through Plank Industries Public Relations Director Danielle Bennings.
Wilson emphasized repeatedly that her obligation to the commission is separate from her obligation to Plank Industries and its subsidiaries.
“I was involved in sitting on commissions and serving in this way well before I was ever associated with the Port Covington project,” Wilson wrote. “My work on this commission is separate from the work that I do on the Port Covington development. I am deeply committed to my city, its progress and working towards improving upon the things that are holding the city back from reaching its fullest potential.”
Wilson, an East Baltimore native and Mergenthaler Vocational-Technical High School graduate, is an Associated Black Charities co-chair and a Center for Urban Families board member.
“I am on the commission as a lawyer and a resident of the city of Baltimore. I offer multiple perspectives on issues that affect us all; as a person who grew up in this city, as someone who has been personally impacted by gun violence and as someone who has worked alongside law enforcement.”
Wilson, a member on leave from Gordon Feinblatt, Labor and Employment Practice, “covers the spectrum of employment litigation. She handles all aspects of both state and federal claims involving race, age, disability and gender/sexual orientation discrimination, as well as sexual harassment, retaliatory discharge, and wage and hour issues. In addition, Alicia represents unions and management in collective bargaining and National Labor Relation Act matters,” according to her Gordon Feinblatt bio.
“This commission allows me to bring to bear all of the perspectives that I bring to these issues. I have a deep grounding in law as well as a unique understanding of how it is to live on a day to day basis with the implications of the Baltimore Police Department, whether good or bad. When asked to serve on this commission, my thought was not how this would be in the interest of my employer, but how this was in the interest of my community.”
Other members of the commission include Mitchel M. Gordon, a former Baltimore City police officer now workers compensation litigator for public safety employees, Sean Malone, a former attorney for the Baltimore City Police Department, and former Judge Alexander Williams, Jr.
“I am excited to work with Judge Alexander Williams who has given so much to our judiciary and to our community, but I’m also excited to work with all the members of the commission and learn from them. I think it’s helpful to learn from the perspectives of others, and bring diverse thoughts to the table,” said when asked whom she is most excited to work with.
While the Baltimore City Office of Civil Rights Civilian Review Board struggles with city solicitor Andre Davis to have its subpoenas honored, Wilson described how the state commission can get results.
“The power to subpoena must be exercised with care, but it is an extremely powerful and useful means by which clarity and transparency can occur in a process,” Wilson wrote. “I think the subpoena power given to this commission is essential because you may not have people that are necessarily willing to participate in the investigation. In other cases you may not need it, but with something of this level of sensitivity you need the subpoena power to be successful.”
At the time of Wilson’s reply, September 13, the commission had not yet met. A preliminary report is expected by the end of this year, followed by a full report at the end of 2019. Wilson does not know what her or the commission’s role will be when it comes to how findings or recommendations might be implemented or enforced.
“It is too premature to provide a response to that,” Wilson wrote.“I imagine we will have some involvement, but that remains to be seen.”