Annapolis City Employee Uses City E-mail To Push Supports for Slots ~ Annapolis Capital Punishment

Friday, October 15, 2010

Annapolis City Employee Uses City E-mail To Push Supports for Slots

An Annapolis employee used her city email to send a letter out to many dozens of recipients urging support for the casino at Arundel Mills. Ruby Singleton Blakeney, Director, Small and Minority Business Enterprise Development for the City of Annapolis Office of Economic Development was responding to an email she received in support of the much-discussed Question A when she apparently hit "reply all" and told a multitude of persons that among others thing, that "I support the Cordish Company 100%."

It was signed with her electronic signature of name and title (shown above) that also included this:

City Hall
160 Duke of Gloucester Street
Annapolis, MD 21401

The original email supporting Question A was sent to her from a Dean D'Camera, a former Anne Arundel Police Officer and now a local insurance businessman.  It was sent on 10/14/2010 at 8:50 AM.

At 3:19 Singleton-Blakeney wrote back to Mr. D'Camera, and cc'd the email to many dozens of people including business owners, public school employees and the names but not the emails of some city employees, including the mayor's assistant Doug Smith were on the list as well. He apparently did not get the email. Here is her complete email copy:

I feel that it's one's right to make the decision to vote for or against slots. I  have also been doing my personal poll and find that 98% of those polled are uninformed as to where the location will be, and who is funding the vote no campaign.

We are in an economically stressful time, and I take my hat of [sic] to any developer undertaking a project that will bring jobs, revenue and contracting opportunities to our community.

I support the Cordish Company 100% and hope to see you at the Loews Annapolis Hotel tonight. [ACP notes: That was in apparent reference to an event supporting Question A]

Singleton-Blakeney confirmed she sent the email and told ACP that "I have a duty to the business community to try to assist them in this terrible economic time. I don't speak for the City of Annapolis but support the businesses. I've not had a conversation with the mayor to find out where he stands with this."  For the record, Mayor Josh Cohen has consistently opposed slots. Had he remained on County Council, he may possibly have voted against the zoning decision that led to Question A, but that is speculative and provided here purely as background. The issue anyhow is not about whether the mayor supports slots or not. In a phone message, Singleton-Blakeney continued to express her feelings about her not representing any official city position in her email.

She added that "I am just trying to support the business community and suggesting that people just understand what this is about. I was not suggesting that anyone vote for or against it."
Singleton Blakeney brought further notoriety to herself when she filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against the City and her former boss, former Economic Development Director Mike Miron.

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