At least three high-ranking members in the Republican administration of outgoing Prince George's County Executive Lawrence J. Hogan have moved from their political appointments to "merit" or civil service jobs that provide them job security under the new Democratic executive, Parris N. Glendening.
Glendening said that while that sort of career move was not unusual on the federal or local level after an election and was "not confined to either party," he did not consider it "a good thing for the merit system." If the system was being abused, he said, "we will have to make corrections."
One of the appointees who switched is Charles Deegan, director of licenses and permits, whose job title will be changed back to acting director -- a civil service job. County personnel regulations allow him to do that because he accepted his political appointment as director within the past year. His pay and grade level will decrease, however, as he moves from a Grade 40 position that pays around $49,000 a year to a Grade 33 post that pays around $34,000, a Glendening spokesman said.
Another appointee, Central Services Director James Trexler, was transferred Nov. 21 from his post as director of central services into a civil service position in that department with unspecified duties. Similarly, former Hogan spokesman Carl Gagliardi, who was initially hired as an exempt employe, was rehired for the same job as a "merit" employe a few months ago. He was transferred to the Hospital Commission to serve as its director of public relations and marketing.
Democrat Glendening has never announced that he would fire the appointed officials, but emphasized during the campaign that he would place only "qualified professionals" in positions of responsibility, a response to what he considered Republican Hogan's efforts to surround himself with politically loyal appointees.
Meanwhile, the new nine-member County Council met for the first time and elected Frank Casula and Floyd Wilson as its chairman and vice chairman.
Glendening yesterday announced the names of four temporary department heads who will replace four people appointed by his predecessor.
They are: Sue Ward, a community activist, who will replace Barbara Anderson as acting director of the Department of Aging; Eugene Lauer, the former assistant county administrator, who will replace Deegan as director of the Department of Licenses and Permits; H. Joseph Edwards, who will replace Burton Oliver as head of program planning and economic development, and Robert H. Dunn, who replace Edward Sealover as acting head of the Department of Central Services.
Edwards is the executive director of the Laurel Chamber of Commerce, and Dunn is the county fleet administrator.