By Foster Klug, Associated Press
BALTIMORE, Md - A judge on Thursday rejected a request by Baltimore's fired police commissioner to be reinstated, saying it would disrupt the police department.
Kevin Clark had sought a temporary restraining order to get his job back while a $60 million lawsuit he filed this week against Mayor Martin O'Malley goes forward. He alleges O'Malley fired him in part because police were investigating a mayoral ally and "graphic material" found on the man's laptop, officials said.
City Judge Joseph Kaplan said Clark's "leadership is so tainted at this point, and he's said so many adverse things about the mayor and the city (in the complaint) that" his reinstatement "would be totally disruptive."
The suit claims that Clark's Nov. 10 firing occurred two days after the chief of the department's internal investigative division asked federal authorities for assistance on several probes, including the laptop case.
City Solicitor Ralph S. Tyler said Clark's complaint is "totally lacking in merit."
O'Malley has said he fired Clark because domestic abuse allegations against the chief had become a distraction from the fight against crime.
Clark, 48, went on leave while police investigated a May incident in which his girlfriend fled Clark's house and told officers standing guard outside that he had assaulted her.
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She later recanted her story, and police found insufficient grounds to bring charges.