Charles County Commissioner Thomasina O. Coates

LA PLATA, Md. – On Thursday, September 21, 2023 Prince George’s County Circuit Court Judge Leo E. Green Jr. ruled that Charles County Commissioner Thomasina O. Coates can no longer have the decision to determine the job status of the county administrator.

This ruling ends a nearly nine-month case that cost Maryland taxpayers over $1.35 million.

This lawsuit came about after a December 2022 closed session of Charles County Board of County Commissioners. During this session, Coates along with Commissioners Ralph E. Patterson and Reuben B. Collins II attempted a vote to fire County Administrator Mark Belton. This action came after it was revealed that Coates had made derogatory and racially insensitive comments about Belton.

A 27-page report compiled by Stinson LLP partner Bernadette Sargent detailed the hostile work environment that Coates had created. Belton had reported the situation to Alexis Blackwell, the Charles County Government HR Director.

The commissioners voted 4-1 in a closed session to officially censure Coates and deny her any contact with Belton.

The order is to remain in place as long as Coates is in office, as per the ruling by Judge Green.

“Today was a win for all of our citizens and hopefully the end of a costly court battle,” said Commissioner Gilbert “BJ” Bowling on social media.

In an email to her supporters, Coates stated, “The judge’s decision to move to a final injunction ruling instead of a preliminary injunction ruling was both surprising and disappointing. It essentially permanently prohibits my ever having input into the employment status of an at-will employee hired by the board of commissioners, which of course includes me.”

“It isn’t a win for the residents and taxpayers of the county. Today my attorneys have filed a motion for reconsideration.”

Belton has been on leave since January, when the lawsuit over his job first began.

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  1. $1.35 MILLION used for this circus is ridiculous. Makes me wonder about ALL of the agenda of the County Commisioners. As for Mr. Belton I am looking forward to the civil suit(s) that he can bring forward.

  2. The commissioners most certainly can remove a administrator from their position, this judge doesn’t have a clue!

    1. My friend, it appears that you are the one without the clue! I urge you to find and read the report from Stinson… it’s pretty damning. This woman has no business serving the public. Given what they put up with from us I’m usually pretty forgiving of black on white racism but this case is pretty egregious and she’s an elected official. If she had a shred of honor she’d resign in disgrace but she is instead taking the George Santos route. It’s disgusting.

      1. You are most certainly incorrect, commissioners have complete authority to remove any administrative personnel from their job, that’s how government employment works

  3. She and her dishonest cohorts should resign immediately and be ordered to pay the court costs. A nine-month circus instead of focusing on the out-of-control crime. Good Bye

  4. Commissioner is a elected position. Sometimes you buy things + they have instructions/ directions for how to put them together. A kit. There is no kit for election. Its electablity. Whos electable. It shouldn’t be a sign contest. If you follow all of the instructions, you still might not get elected.

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