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  [MD Gov] Ehrlich Staffer Endorsed Firing
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ContributorArmyDem 
Last EditedArmyDem  Sep 23, 2005 12:16am
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MediaNewspaper - Washington Post
News DateFriday, September 23, 2005 08:00:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionE-Mails Recount Democrat's Removal

By Matthew Mosk
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, September 23, 2005; Page B01

Newly released e-mails show that an aide in Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s appointments office personally authorized the dismissal of a mid-level state engineer with ties to the Democratic Party, information that could become a focus of a legislative probe into the role politics played in the governor's personnel actions.

A September 2003 e-mail exchange, obtained through the Maryland Public Records Act, sheds new light on the deliberations that immediately preceded the firing of Vincent J. Gardina, a Democrat on the Baltimore County Council who had worked for five months on dredging projects at the Maryland Environmental Service. Gardina, who earned $55,000 a year, had received a favorable work evaluation just weeks before being terminated.

After being dismissed, Gardina sued the governor, alleging that he was fired solely because of his political affiliation. The state settled the suit for $100,000 before the question could be resolved.

Some lawmakers have cited the settlement as evidence that Ehrlich oversaw a purge of Democrats from state government after becoming the state's first Republican governor in a generation. Gardina could be a key witness in hearings this year on the governor's personnel practices.
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