Prince George's County Executive elect Lawrence J. Hogan is "leaning strongly" toward appointing the first black personnel director in the county's history, sources said yesterday.
Joseph M. Parker Sr. a Republican and vice principal of Tall Oaks Elementary School, is expected to be named soon to replace Donald H. Weinberg, who has submitted his formal resignation, according to sources close to Hogan's transition team.
Parker ran unsuccessfully against Sen. Tommie Broadwater in the Nov. 7 election for Broadwater's Seat Pleasant-based seat in the state legislature. He is popular among Republicans in part because he won 38 percent of the votes in a race against an entrenched Democrat in an overwhelmingly Democratic district.
This popularity, however, does not necessarily extend to the all-Democratic County Council, which must approve Hogan's appointment of department heads.
"If Mr. Parker is Mr. Hogan's choice then we'll all have to study his record carefully," said council member Gerard T. McDonough. "But as far as I can see he has no background in personnel and right now I would have problems approving his appointment."
Left unsaid were the political implications of Parker's appointment. The Republican ran an aggressive and at times negative campaign against Broadwater.
"They don't want to get into a battle early with (Hogan)," said one council source. "But if they just let Parker have the job they'll almost be saying, 'go ahead and attack Broadwater, it's okay', or 'crime does pay.' They have to consider that, too."
Parke and Hogan met at length on Tuesday to discuss which job Parker will hold in the Administration, sources said. Parker has been offered a choice between the personnel job or a job as senior aide and spokesman, they said.
Hogan announced his first three appointments yesterday, naming Robert B. Ostrom, 34, as his choice to replace James C. Chapin as county attorney, Robert T. Ennis, 39, as his executive assistant and Wilbert Wilson, 34, as his assistant in charge of community relations.
Wilson, like Parker, is black, but his job is not considered as sensitive as that of the personnel director. Hogan has said that personnel is one of his most important appointments because 11 county contracts expire on June 30.
Parker, 44, has worked in the Prince George's County school system for 22 years and is currently chairman of the county Human Relations Committee.
Parker, who is a member of the Hogan transition team, could not be reached for comment yesterday, but a close friend said that any announcement about his role in the administration would have to come from Hogan.
Hogan, who left late yesterday for a Thanksgiving weekend vacation, could not be reached for comment.
The three announced appointments came as no surprise. All three are members of Hogan's transition team and were expected to get jobs in the new administration. Ostrom was assistant county attorney in William Gullett's administration and was considered likely to replace Chapin from the moment Hogan was elected.
Sources said the reason Hogan has not named Parker as his choice for personnel director is that Parker is attempting to work out the details of a leave of absence from the school system.