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OFFICIAL STATEMENT ON REVELATION THAT 2 CHIC BOUTIQUE FILED FALSE TAX RETURN RELATED TO HEALTHY HOLLY SCANDAL

Baltimore, MD, February 13, 2020 – Following today’s revelation that 2 Chic Boutique filed a false tax return, Councilman Bill Henry, a candidate for Baltimore City Comptroller in the 2020 primary election, issued the following statement:

“Today, the Baltimore Sun reported on a sentencing memorandum filed by federal prosecutors, which revealed that 2 Chic Boutique, formerly owned by then Mayor Pugh and Comptroller Pratt, filed a false tax return in 2016 related to a $20,000 Healthy Holly payment.

This false tax return reduced the tax liability of each partner. This revelation raises serious concerns about Comptroller Pratt’s knowledge of 2 Chic Boutique’s accounting and tax filings.

I am calling on Comptroller Pratt to provide a complete response to her constituents who need to know what she knew about the $20,000 payment and false tax filing, and when she knew it. I am also calling on Comptroller Pratt to seriously consider whether or not she can continue to serve as our City’s financial watchdog.”

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About Councilman Bill Henry

Bill Henry is a three-term City Councilman serving the City’s 4th District, who is running to be Baltimore City Comptroller, the City’s fiscal and policy watchdog. His career in public service began long before his first elected office, with leadership roles at the Patterson Park Community Development Corporation and as board president of the Citizens Planning and Housing Administration (CPHA), and the Greater Homewood Corporation (now Strong City Baltimore). He has worked in the offices of Mayor Schmoke, Congressman Ben Cardin, and City Council President’s Mary Pat Clarke and Lawrence Bell.

Bill is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University, where he majored in urban studies and public policy, and Loyola University Maryland, where he earned an MBA with a concentration in Finance.

Councilman Bill Henry, Candidate for Baltimore City Comptroller, Claims Momentum from Fundraising Success

BALTIMORE, Jan. 13, 2020 – Baltimore City Councilman and challenger for Baltimore City Comptroller Bill Henry today announced that his campaign raised $172,000 from 536 unique contributors in the period closing Jan. 8, 2020, including over $100,000 in cash on hand. The total represents the largest amount raised in a single filing period by any candidate for Baltimore City Comptroller.

“Voters in this great City are prepared to invest in transparent, accountable, effective City government,” said Henry, “because now more than ever, we need the Comptroller’s office to shine a bright light on how we spend our scarce resources, and whether or not we are getting the results we should expect. It’s the only way to deliver on commitments to safe streets, world-class City services, and a fair economy.”

Henry’s campaign reported that donations exceeded their goals for total amount raised and number of unique contributors for the first reporting period. About half of all donations were $50 or less and most came from residents of Baltimore City.

“We are on track and prepared to press Bill’s case for why we need a smart, honest, and committed public servant in one of the most important offices in City government,” said Bill Henry’s campaign treasurer, Mel Freeman. 

Freeman noted that the campaign’s fundraising progress has been matched by a rising number of soon-to-be unveiled endorsements and a strong volunteer effort. In the last several months, Henry’s team has knocked on over 30,000 doors to deliver his promise to bring trust, activism, expertise, and fierce independence to the Comptroller’s office.

More information about Bill Henry’s campaign can be found at www.billhenry.com

About Bill Henry

Bill Henry announced his candidacy for Baltimore City Comptroller on June 1, 2019, when he was joined at a rally by other Council members, state lawmakers, and supporters. Henry is a three-term Councilman serving the City’s 4th District for the past 12 years. His career in public service began long before his first elected office, with leadership roles at the Patterson Park Community Development Corporation and as board president of the Citizens Planning and Housing Administration (CPHA), and the Greater Homewood Corporation (now Strong City Baltimore). He has worked in the offices of Mayor Kurt Schmoke, Congressman Ben Cardin, and City Council Presidents Mary Pat Clarke and Lawrence Bell.

Bill is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University, where he majored in urban studies and public policy, and Loyola University Maryland, where he earned an MBA with a concentration in Finance. 

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Press Release: Councilman Bill Henry Announces Campaign for Baltimore City Comptroller Alongside Elected Officials

Baltimore, MD – Earlier today, Bill Henry, the Councilman from Baltimore City’s 4th District, announced he will be running for Baltimore City Comptroller. 

Councilman Henry began by saying, “In my view, government should do two things very well: it should be accountable to the people, and it should deliver the right results,” he continued, “We need a ‘Chief Accountability Officer’ – a truly independent official whose job it is to remind the Mayor and the City Council that achieving better outcomes requires making better decisions.”

Councilman Henry was joined by his colleagues Councilman Zeke Cohen (1st District), Councilman Kris Burnett (8th District), Councilwoman Shannon Sneed (13th District) and Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke (14th District), as well as State Senator Mary Washington (43rd District) and State Delegates Robbyn Lewis (46th District)  and Stephanie Smith (45th District). City Councilman Ryan Dorsey (3rd District) and State Delegates Luke Clippinger (46th District) and Brooke Lierman (46th District) are also endorsing Henry, but were unable to attend the event. 

When introducing Councilman Henry, Senator Washington said, “Working with Bill over the past 15 years, I have witnessed first hand his intimate knowledge of how government works and how government could work better. I trust him to make sure our tax dollars are being spent equitably and strategically to protect our communities.”

In his remarks, Henry pledged to focus on three priorities: modernizing the office, using audits to get results, and promoting equitable economic growth. Along with sitting on the City’s Board of Estimates, which handles all day-to-day financial actions for the City, the Comptroller oversees the City’s Department of Audits and Department of Real Estate.

Councilman Burnett also expressed the need for a change in leadership in the Comptroller’s office. “The office of Comptroller can be a great tool for bringing more accountability and transparency to city government, but it takes someone with Bill’s expertise and passion for good governance to deliver necessary innovation with steady hands. That is why I’m very excited Bill is running for comptroller.”

Henry ended his speech to a large crowd of friends, family, elected officials and supporters, with a call to action, saying that “To accomplish all this, however, will take more than just a campaign – we’ll need a political movement like nothing this City has seen before, but which I see beginning here today.”

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About Bill Henry

Councilman Henry is a graduate of Loyola Blakefield, Johns Hopkins University and Loyola Maryland University, where he received a Master’s degree in Business Administration, with a concentration in Finance. Prior to elected office, he was a deputy director of the Patterson Park Community Development Corporation and worked in the City Council President’s office, both as legislative aide to Mary Pat Clarke and as chief of staff to Lawrence Bell.

He has long been active in the arts, currently serving on the board of the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, and previously serving on the boards of the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Mobtown Players Theatre Company, of which he was a founding member. Councilman Henry is also a former board chair of Greater Homewood Community Corporation (now Strong City Baltimore) and Citizens Planning and Housing Association, and a former board member of Local Progress, a national network of over 900 progressive municipal officials.

To learn more about Councilman Henry’s campaign for Baltimore City Comptroller, please visit http://www.billhenry.com

Bill Henry Calls for Creation of City Government Customer Service Centers

Bill Henry Calls for Creation of City Government Customer Service Centers

Reminiscent of Mayor Schaeffor’s “Mayor’s Stations,” Councilman Henry introduces resolution calling for brick-and-mortar locations offering government services throughout Baltimore’s neighborhoods

Baltimore, MD – At tonight’s City Council meeting, Councilman Bill Henry introduced a resolution calling for the creation of City government customer service centers. These “little city halls” would provide services at brick-and-mortar locations on neighborhood commercial corridors throughout Baltimore. 

The program would be based on programs found in cities like Seattle, Washington, where residents can visit neighborhood-based centers to access key services like bill or fine payment, referrals to city programs or resources, access to government forms or applications, or even a legal clinic. 

Councilman Henry’s proposal is reminiscent of the “Mayor’s Stations,” under Mayor William Donald Schaeffer that made government more accessible to residents.  

“Bringing City Hall to the neighborhoods will improve our local democracy, make our City fairer, and add to the vibrancy of our main streets,” said Councilman Henry. “I look forward to working with Mayor Young, Council President Scott, and my colleagues on the Council to get this done.”

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About Councilman Bill Henry. Bill Henry is a community development professional with over 20 years of experience in urban policy. In 12 years on the City Council, Bill has championed efforts that hold government accountable, empower communities, and grow the tax base. Bill believes we need a City Comptroller who will provide thorough, independent oversight of the City’s fiscal and policy affairs. As Comptroller, Bill will protect the public interest through the office’s crucial roles in budgeting, auditing, and managing the City’s real estate.

Councilman Bill Henry Issues Statement on Relocation of Baltimore Police Department’s Training Facility

Baltimore, MD – After approval of a lease agreement and parking agreement moving the Baltimore Police Department’s training facility to the University of Baltimore, Councilman Bill Henry, who is a candidate for Baltimore City Comptroller, issued the following statement:

In 2015, I co-sponsored then-Councilman Mosby’s resolution for a study on moving Baltimore Police Department’s training facility to Coppin State University, which has an excellent criminal justice program, and as a West Baltimore HBCU should be a key engine for equitable economic growth in Baltimore.

This morning the Board of Estimates approved a lease agreement that was initiated by the past administration to move the facility instead to the University of Baltimore.

City taxpayers will pay $2.5 million to renovate the UB facility and $7.2 million in rent over 5 years. Taxpayers will also pay more than $200,000 for parking.
The reason provided is that the consent decree mandates moving to a new facility immediately, and no other location in the City is apparently suitable.
Here’s what I would have done as Comptroller.

First, I would have taken on the feasibility study that the City Council asked for four years ago. As an independent elected official devoted to oversight and accountability, the Comptroller’s office is well-suited to providing this kind of analysis where it is needed.

Second, as chair of the body which approves these leases before they go to the Board of Estimates, I would have withheld my approval of the lease until being provided with the administration’s rationale for rejecting other city-owned properties and private facilities like those at Coppin. I would have provided this analysis to the public.

Perhaps the UB facility truly is the best possible way to meet the consent decree’s immediate requirements. However, the public deserves to see the details. Unfortunately, we will never know whether a better solution would have been possible now had due diligence been done in 2015 as the Council advised.

Today the BOE asked Baltimore City residents to again accept the inertia of past missed opportunities. This is why open, transparent, and accountable government is central to Baltimore moving forward.

As your next Baltimore City Comptroller, my job will be to speak up for the public interest early and often, because we’re going to have to change the way we make decisions if we expect to see better results anytime soon.”

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About Councilman Bill HenryBill Henry is a community development professional with over 20 years of experience in urban policy. In 12 years on the City Council, Bill has championed efforts that hold government accountable, empower communities, and grow the tax base. Bill believes we need a City Comptroller who will provide thorough, independent oversight of the City’s fiscal and policy affairs. As Comptroller, Bill will protect the public interest through the office’s crucial roles in budgeting, auditing, and managing the City’s real estate.