Leonard I. Colodny, who is running against the Prince George's County Democratic party organization slate for a seat in the Maryland Senate, learned last week that he will not be reappointed to the county Human Relations Commission when his term ends this month.
Colodny, who has served two 3-year terms on the commission, said he learned "third hand," that County Executive Winfield M. Kelly Jr. did not intend to reappoint him to the commission.
Kelly told a reporter he had spoken to Colodny six months ago about a possible reappointment and that Colodny had told him he was going to run for state Senate and intended to step down from the commission.
The Human Relations Commission was set up by the County Council in 1972 to enforce county antidiscrimination laws in areas including housing, employment, education and law enforcement.
"Len never asked to be reappointed," Kelly said. "I just presumed he hadn't asked because he was running for state Senate. The other three people whose terms were ending asked to be reappointed and they were."
Colodny laughed when told of Kelly's comments and said, "I didn't ask to be reappointed three years ago either, but I was. I just thought that my record would stand for itself.
"I've worked extremely hard on the commission and I think I've helped get it into much better shape than it was in at one time. I'm very disappointed that Winnie didn't at least pick up the phone this week and tell be himself. I didn't like hearing third hand.
"I guess because I'm starting to get some support in different areas of the county they're getting a little worried about me so they're doing this."
Kelly's chief aide John Lally denied that Colodny's removal was politically motivated."That's a politically motivated charge," he said. "Look, if he had asked to be reappointed, Winnie probably would've done it if only so that people wouldn't say he was removing him for political reasons. Art Dorman probably would have called and asked Winnie to do it that way."
Arthur Dorman is the incumbent state senior in the 21st District and the man Colodny is challenging in the primary Sept. 12.
Kelly has appointed Alexander Williams, a black attorney from Cheverly who has a private practice and works in the public defender office, to replace Colodny.
The other three members of the commission whose terms end this month, William Eudelson, Mabelle Fisher and Dervey Lomax, have all been reappointed by Kelly.
"Len seems to think being on the commission is a birthright," Lally said. "It's not. There's a need for rotating new people onto the commission every few years. If he had asked though, it might have been different."
Kelly has an administrative policy that calls for appointed county officers to resign when they become candidates for elected office on his slate. Since Colodny is not on the Kelly slate, however, he would not be affected by it.
"I got dumped," Colodny said. "It's as simple as that."