Former U. S. Congressman Lawrence J. Hogan was fired yesterday as executive vice president of the Associated Builders and Contractors and his position was immediately filled, according to the national association's president.
But Hogan said the president Joseph A. Burton, does not have authority to fire him. Hogan said he plans to remain as executive director unless the association's board of directors asks him to resign. "I'm planning to stay on board," Hogan said.
Burton maintained in an interview, however, that he has the power to fire his staff director and executed that authority yesterday morning because "some of the things Larry did we didn't see eye-to-eye on. The difference was in the way hw was managing and rhe way I think he should manage."
Burton refused to elaborate on his reasons for dismissing Hogan, although he confimed that he was dissatisfied with the large turnover in personnel here at the national headquarters of the association, which has 12,000 members.
According to association sources, Burton was unhappy with Hogan's hiring of employes with political connections, such as Ross Wheelton, who served as an aide to Rep. Robert E. Bauman (R-Md.). Burton also felt Hogan was devoting too much time to political affairs, the sources said.
"There is nothing he did wrong," Burton said. "Nothing tremendous he did wrong in the last few days or any time. You have some internal problems that built up over a period of time. There's no bitterness on my part over this."
Hogan, who left politics in 1974 after losing the Republican primary for governor in January 1977. He said he and Burton have a "personality problem" over some of his decisions as staff director."
"He doesn't believe in the actions I've made to bring the (association) into the 20th century," Hogan said. "This place was chaotic before I came. It was amateur night."
Hogan said his staff "ready to resign en masse over this thing." He said he has asked staff members to continue their work until "we fight this thing out before the board."
The board, made up 150 people representing local chapters around the nation, is the only body named in the bylaws as having the authority to hire and fire the executive vice president, according to Hogan.
"I'm not leaving ABC," he said. "He's (Burton) wrong. Until the board of directors asked me to resign I will stay on board."
Hogan, the national Republican committeeman in Maryland, has been named as a possible candidate for governor. Hogan said yesterday he is not now interested in running.
Hogan said charges that he replaced qualified association employes with political cronies "are just not true." He said Wheelton, who is director of education, manpower and safety, is the only employe with Republican credentials among the dozens of staff changes he has made.
I've really upgraded the staff, brought them for the minor league to the major league," said Hogan, who declined to reveal his salary as executive vice president. Among his changes, he said, he fired the association's chief of legal strategy who was not a lawyer and replaced him with a lawyer.
"I replaced the 30-year-old director of government relations with the former governor of Maine," he said. "I hired the former commissioner of labor from Wisconsin to be my associate general counsel."
Hogan said the board has backed him in the past when in conflict with Burton and re is "confident" board members will support him in his fight with the ABC president.
"Everything else he's opposed me on I've won," he said, "and I expect to win this one too."