Baker won’t confirm that Chief Hylton is out, but he says big changes are coming

December 1, 2010 - 12:41 PM
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Prince George’s Executive-elect Rushern Baker refused to confirm the State’s Attorney’s claim that Police Chief Roberto Hylton will soon be out of a job, but he confirmed that “more than the usual number” of key government aides will leave their posts when he takes office on Monday.

Prosecutor Glenn Ivey, on TBD just moments before Baker, told Dave Lucas that it was his “understanding” that Hylton would be replaced. (The Washington Post, citing an anonymous source, confirmed that Hylton would be ousted later today.)

Baker, asked directly about Ivey’s statement, refused to confirm or deny the State’s Attorney’s claim, though he did acknowledge that he’s taking “a hard look” at that and other high-profile posts in county government. Hylton told ABC 7’s Brad Bell that he will not be resigning.

Given the close friendship between Baker and Ivey – they are godparents to each other’s children – Ivey is thought to have a good understanding of Baker’s thinking on key issues.

Baker also acknowledged he’s been frustrated with the pace of transition activity with the outgoing Johnson administration.

Although he takes office in just a few days, Baker said he’s not ready to announce who his Chief Administrative Officer will be, and he signaled that many government agencies will have “acting” – as opposed to permanent – directors, because interviews and decision-making are still on-going. 

Pressed on whether Councilwoman-elect Leslie Johnson should take the oath Monday despite the ethical cloud hanging over her head, Baker again refused to say that she should step down for the good of the county, as some have suggested. He said she’s legally entitled to take office and that the decision to do so – or not – is up to her. He acknowledged that Monday’s swearing-in ceremony will draw more attention than usual because of the possible presence of the Johnsons.

Baker said he’s been briefed by the FBI on the probe of the county’s police department – though he shared no details – and he expressed confidence in the county’s rank-and-file officers. In his appearance on TBD News, Ivey said of the police probe “there’s more to come,” though he did not elaborate. He expressed confidence that Baker’s new police chief and Angela Alsobrooks, the State’s Attorney-elect, will restore the public’s trust in the county’s criminal justice system. Ivey said an Alsobrooks deputy is already on the payroll. 

Part one of my interview with Rushern Baker airs today at 4pm, 6pm and 8:30pm. Part two is here:

We also talked about the events leading up to and taking place on inauguration day. Baker pledged to identify the people and organizations giving money to the inaugural committee. (More information about the inaugural can be found at


Today’s replay also includes our interview with Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi. 

Our look at the military’s report on the impact of repealing “Don’t’ Ask, Don’t Tell” is here:

Thursday at 10am: The DC Council takes on bullying and Vince Gray meets with the President.

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