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Accountabilityby Mark Reutter9:57 amMay 7, 20240

Over $25,000 in previously undisclosed contributions were made to Nick Mosby’s campaign

The City Council president’s leading benefactor turns out to be a Columbia, Md., businessman whose attempt to open a residential drug treatment center in northeast Baltimore stirred strong community opposition. UPDATED

Above: Kevin K. Pfeffer, founder and CEO of Clinic Management and Development Services. (Brew file photo)

A drug treatment center executive, whose company is suing the city for denying it permission to build a residential clinic on Harford Road, has emerged as the leading financial supporter of City Council President Nick Mosby.

Kevin K. Pfeffer is one of 11 individuals, companies and a charitable foundation whose donations to Mosby were unreported in two previous financial reports filed by the Council president, who is seeking re-election in the May 14 Democratic Party primary.

The role played by Pfeffer, CEO of Clinic Management and Development Services (CMDS), which until recently provided management services for Turning Point, Baltimore’s largest methadone clinic, became clear over the weekend when Mosby’s campaign committee submitted a new financial report to the State Board of Elections.

The report disclosed that Pfeffer, his company and a close associate donated $18,000 to the Mosby campaign in mid-March, but that money was not reported in either Mosby’s “pre-primary 1” report filed on April 9 or in an amended report filed on April 14.

After The Brew posted an April 22 story questioning discrepancies in these reports, the Elections Board ordered Mosby to return any “excessive contributions” from Baltimore Gas & Electric and to correct more than 20 erroneous contributor addresses.

Over the weekend, the Mosby campaign electronically filed a second amended report acknowledging that BGE contributed only $450 to his campaign (as the company had earlier asserted).

At the same time, the campaign slipped into the report the names of 11 new contributors who were not listed in his two previous reports.

Of the $25,850 coming from these donations, $18,000 was from Pfeffer-related entities, including $6,000 from CMDS Management LLC, $6,000 from Pfeffer, and $6,000 from Dawei Liu, listed at residing at Pfeffer’s Howard County residence.

Kevin Pfeffer confers with Bilal Ali, a former state legislator who serves as CMDS president, at a Sheila Dixon fundraiser last October. (Fern Shen)

Kevin Pfeffer confers at a Sheila Dixon fundraiser last October with Bilal Ali, who currently serves as president of CMDS residential programs. Each man gave $1,000 to the Dixon campaign. (Fern Shen)

Dislike for Rival

Pfeffer said he made the contributions to Mosby because of his dislike of Shannon Sneed, a rival candidate for City Council president, and her affiliation with state Senator Cory V. McCray (D, 45th).

“Let’s just say I am not as fan of the Sneed/McCray crowd,” he said yesterday. “Accordingly, it should be obvious why I’d support Nick.”

He added, “There is nothing I need or expect from Nick.”

Liu is listed in the campaign report as “self-employed” in the arts and entertainment field.

The Brew previously traced Liu as an administrative aide at CMDS when it reported that Liu was one of seven treatment employees who gave $42,000 to Councilman Ryan Dorsey in 2020, when the proposed drug facility on Harford Road, in Dorsey’s district, was under fire by community groups. Pfeffer confirmed yesterday that Liu still works for CMDS.

“There is nothing I need or expect from Nick”  – Kevin Pfeffer.

Dorsey returned the 2020 contributions following an outcry by constituents and said he opposed the rezoning of the former nursing home that CMDS purchased to convert into a residential substance abuse treatment facility.

After the Board of Municipal and Zoning Appeals denied the permit, CMDS filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court against the mayor and City Council, saying the zoning decision violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and smacked of political manipulation.

A federal judge recently rejected the city’s attempts to throw out the lawsuit and ordered settlement negotiations under Magistrate Judge Susan K. Gauvey.

Pfeffer said he doubts the settlement talks will succeed and predicts the case will go to trial. “I expect damages in the neighborhood of $100 million,” he said yesterday.

Bankrolling other Races

In the meantime, CMDS has opened a 56-bed treatment center for women, called Fayette House, on Fulton Avenue in West Baltimore.

Presiding at the dedication ceremony was Mosby, He was joined by former state Delegate Bilal Ali (D, 41st), president of CMDS residential services, who is attempting to return to elective office as West Baltimore’s 8th District city councilman.

Pfeffer and CMDS have been major supporters of Ali’s campaign.

They have funneled $18,000 to the candidate, who is running against Paris Gray, the handpicked choice of outgoing Councilman Kristerfer Burnett.

Pfeffer and his company have been active elsewhere in the city, dispersing $12,000 to the 2024 re-election campaign of Councilman Antonio Glover, whose East Baltimore district includes the Turning Point Clinic.

In the recent past, Pfeffer has sprinkled campaign funds to 40th District Delegate Melissa R. Wells ($2,000), 40th District Senator Antonio Hayes ($1,000), 9th District Councilman John Bullock ($1,000), mayoral hopeful Sheila Dixon ($1,000), Maryland Gov. Wes Moore ($1,000) and former Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young ($6,000), all Democrats.

Nick Mosby, at far left, and Bilal Ali, director of CMDS residential program, cvut the rubbon to the Fayette House treatment cetner in Fulton Avenu in June 2021. At far right is 9th District Councilman John Bullock. (Mark Reutter)

Nick Mosby (left) and Bilal Ali cut the ribbon to the CMDS Fayette House treatment center for women in 2021. (Mark Reutter)

Other Mosby Donors

Others contributions to the Mosby campaign that were first disclosed by the weekend report include:

• $200 from Next Phaze Enterprises LLC of Phoenix, Arizona.

• $450 from Dean Harrison, president of Harrison Development in Baltimore.

• $500 from Xavier HVAC, a business erroneously listed as located in New York City. In fact, the company is in York, Pa.

• $1,000 from LRW Traffic Systems on Huntingdon Avenue in Baltimore.

• $4,500 from the R.E. Harrington & Sons Trades Scholarship Foundation set up by Robert E. Harrington, whose company holds multiple utility contracts approved by the Board of Estimates that is headed by Mosby.

The foundation says its purpose is “to solicit and accept contributions for various scholarship opportunities” for students pursing utility construction work.

According to its articles of incorporation, the foundation will act as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit and “shall not participate in or intervene in. . . any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office.”

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