On his first full day in office, Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker thanked supporters and introduced his new appointments after cleaning house yesterday.
The major moves:
- Former Police Chief Roberto Hylton is out. The new interim police chief is Mark Magaw, who was promoted from lieutenant colonel.
- Also, former Fire Chief Eugene Jones will be replaced with interim Fire Chief Mark Bashoor, who came out of retirement for this position, after spending 23 years with the department.
"I felt coming in, in both the police department and the fire department, that we needed to act swiftly and get the type of bold leadership that I want to see happen," Baker said.
The changes come at a time when the county is engulfed by scandals. In March, Prince George's County police allegedly were involved in the vicious beating of University of Maryland students after a basketball win over Duke. Last month, officers under former Police Chief Hylton were arrested accused of extortion and drug trafficking.
And former County Executive Jack Johnson and his wife, Leslie, who is now a member of the County Council, were arrested in November in a federal investigation into corruption and accused of destroying evidence.
"I think it's about time we got a county executive who's going to raise the ethics and morals of the county," said a Prince George’s County resident.
County Executive Baker said these appointments are on an interim basis only. In the coming months he will conduct a nationwide search to find permanent replacements.