Skip to comments.Md. Cabinet Member Says He Objected to Aide (NCPAC)
Posted on 12/20/2005 10:16:54 PM PST by conservative in nyc
A Cabinet secretary for Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. testified yesterday that he was forced to invite into his agency the man who called himself "The Prince of Darkness" and quickly became troubled by the aide's efforts to target employees for termination.
Secretary of Human Resources Christopher J. McCabe said he twice raised objections in late 2003 about Joseph Steffen's mission -- including once in a letter he had the department's top lawyer write to Ehrlich's chief counsel, in which he complained that Steffen was rifling through an employee's payroll records.
Steffen "made me uncomfortable and others uncomfortable," McCabe said while under oath before the legislative committee investigating the Republican administration's personnel practices. "I probably should have been more decisive and said, 'Enough is enough.' "
Steffen was fired by Ehrlich in February for spreading rumors about a political rival.
McCabe became the first current administration official to appear before the special committee reviewing complaints that Ehrlich dispatched aides to reach into the state bureaucracy and fire workers considered disloyal. Ehrlich aides have said they view the probe as a partisan witch hunt by a Democrat-controlled legislature, exposing nothing more than the natural turnover when a new administration takes office.
Steffen could not be located for comment.
For the most part, Republican members of the committee said they doubted the worth of the enterprise. House Minority Leader George C. Edwards (Garrett) told Casey: "You've not convinced me that anyone did anything inappropriate here."
Members voted to extend the inquiry until at least Jan. 31, with the possibility of 20 more witnesses to talk about firing practices.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
Heaven forbid they lay off or terminate an overfed, underworked government agency!
His testimony sounds pathetic and ridiculous!
Thanks for the ping.
This is going to be their tactic.
Anyone who has ever worked in corporate America wherein a new boss comes in, knows this happens. Dems are complaining. Hmph. I thought they liked "eminent domain" processes. And, in this case, for the good for the governor and his administration, it is important to have a cohesive group with a shared philosophy working for him. Dems launch group-think-whine investigation. Pitiful.
Why look any further?
[MD Senate Minority Leader (R)] Stoltzfus yesterday said he may ask the committee to subpoena records of the Web site where the chats took place, http://freerepublic.com/ , and to subpoena Washington Post reporter Matthew Mosk, who first reported the postings.
R.B. Brenner, The Post's Maryland editor, said: "There is no reason to subpoena Matthew Mosk. We have already reported that we don't know who MD4BUSH is and that the newspaper had no involvement in the postings."
Mosk was given printed copies of the messages in November 2004, Brenner said. Unable to verify their authenticity, the reporter appealed for help and, in January, was given sign-on information to enter the chat room by someone associated with MD4BUSH, he said. The exchanges with Steffen appeared in October and November.
"Given the nature of the postings, we needed to verify that the copies we had been provided were accurate," Brenner said. Mosk later showed printouts to Steffen before the Feb. 9 story was published.
Stoltzfus suggested Mosk's use of the log-in information would constitute an ethical breach if the reporter had used it to communicate with Steffen. Brenner said Mosk simply read the messages and did not post anything on the Web site.
Thanks for all the info!