Skip to comments.Ehrlich probe panel to miss deadline again
Posted on 01/10/2006 11:33:03 PM PST by conservative in nyc
A legislative inquiry into the firing practices of Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. likely will be delayed again.
A panel of lawmakers probing whether the Republican governor unfairly fired Democratic state employees was supposed to conclude its work before this week.
But members of the special committee announced yesterday that at least five more workers would be called to testify and that a second extension likely would be sought.
"I don't see how we can finish by January 31," said Sen. Thomas M. Middleton, Charles Democrat and co-chairman of the committee.
He said lawmakers need to hear from more former employees before deciding whether to recommend new protections for workers or a reduction in the number of at-will employees -- those whom a governor may fire for any reason.
The slow pace of the inquiry has frustrated state. Sen. J. Lowell Stoltzfus, an Eastern Shore Republican who has said since the beginning that the investigation is overly partisan and a waste of time.
Mr. Stoltzfus, the Senate Republican leader, repeated his concerns yesterday.
"The taxpayers should not have to absorb the cost for a fishing expedition that has turned up nothing," he said.
The state has paid at least $27,000 to an independent lawyer hired to conduct the inquiry and call witnesses.
The panel has not heard from Joseph Steffen, a former aide to Mr. Ehrlich who kept a statue of the Grim Reaper on his desk when he worked at the Maryland Department of Human Resources and was said to suggest firings.
The list of future witnesses was not made public yesterday, though Sen. Brian E. Frosh, Montgomery Democrat, said he hoped lawmakers eventually would hear from Mr. Steffen.
"Our inquiry would not complete without hearing from him," Mr. Frosh said.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...
Why do I get the are dragging this out longer for a reason?
It doesn't take long to accuse but it does take a long time to find evidence, especially if the charge is false.
Maybe the detectives are attempting to find out if anyone used FReeRepublic for criminal purposes.