- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 2, 2004

BALTIMORE — Police Commissioner Kevin Clark will return to work today after an independent investigation into a domestic dispute involving his fiancee and him “could not substantiate that an assault took place,” Mayor Martin O’Malley said late yesterday.

“I have read the report and spoken to the commissioner about this matter at length,” Mr. O’Malley said. “In short, the commissioner and Ms. [Blanca] Gerena were involved in a domestic dispute, but there was no assault.”

Mr. O’Malley received the results of the investigation earlier yesterday.

The city solicitor’s office received the report Tuesday evening from Howard County police, who took over the investigation, and forwarded a copy to the mayor.

“I am confident this matter is now resolved,” Mr. O’Malley said. “It is time to return our focus to the difficult work of ensuring public safety in Baltimore city.”

Commissioner Clark has been on voluntary paid administrative leave since the incident, which occurred early May 15. According to a police report, Ms. Gerena approached officers stationed outside the commissioner’s North Baltimore apartment and asked to use their telephone.

According to the report, the officers asked whether she was “OK,” and she said she was Commissioner Clark’s wife.

The report refers to the commissioner as “a male known to officers and who will remain anonymous and known as ‘the male’ for the purpose of this report.”

The woman said she needed a ride. The officers asked Commissioner Clark whether he wanted them to “take her somewhere.” The officers told her that he had said she could “take the truck.”

“The female stated, ‘No, he assault me’ (in broken English),” the report said. “The officer did not observe any injuries to the female. They asked her what happened. The female said nothing more than ‘I want to use the phone.’”

The woman used an officer’s cell phone and called for a ride. “After a few minutes,” the report said, another woman arrived and picked her up.

A supervisor’s report was filed Saturday with additional information, but it also did not mention Commissioner Clark’s name or address. That report said the officers “kept the parties apart and attempted to ascertain what was happening.”

“At no time while I was at the undisclosed location did the original black female seek refuge or request assistance from me,” said the report by the unnamed supervisor.

Commissioner Clark said he and his fiancee had argued over traveling to New York, where they used to live. Typically, the two drive on Saturday mornings to New York, but Commissioner Clark said he needed to stay this past weekend in Baltimore. He said his fiancee was upset because his work has kept him from going to New York in the past few months.

The commissioner said his fiancee has told him that she did not tell police of an assault. While his fiancee also speaks Spanish, Commissioner Clark said, she speaks perfectly clear English, as she did during a statement of support at a press conference. “I support my husband, my fiance. Nothing happened,” she said. “That’s all I have to say right now.”

Deputy Police Commissioner Kenneth Blackwell has run the department in Commissioner Clark’s absence.

Commissioner Clark’s predecessor, Edward Norris, 43, pleaded guilty in March to conspiracy to misuse city police funds and filing a false federal income-tax return. Prosecutors said Norris spent as much as $30,000 from the supplemental fund to pay for liquor, extramarital affairs, lavish meals and nights at fancy hotels. Norris was the city’s police commissioner from April 2000 to December 2002.

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