OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) - Maryland's housing chief has suggested that parents might deliberately poison their children with lead in order to secure housing benefits.
The Baltimore Sun reports that State Housing, Community and Development Secretary Kenneth Holt told an audience at a gathering of county leaders on Friday that a mother could put a lead fishing weight in a child's mouth and then get the child tested. Holt said a landlord would then be liable for providing the child with housing until age 18.
Holt told The Sun that he has no evidence of this happening, calling it "an anecdotal story." He used it to illustrate his argument that the liability of landlords in lead paint cases should be limited.
Advocates for lead paint victims said they were outraged by Holt's comments.