ANNAPOLIS — A state worker whom the O’Malley administration fired because of his Republican ties returned to work Wednesday in accordance with a judge’s ruling, and was told to go home again.
Greg Maddalone, who worked as a homeland security specialist in the transportation secretary’s office, was sent home indefinitely Wednesday after he returned to his job, said two sources close to the matter.
Administrative Law Judge Susan A. Sinrod on Monday ordered Mr. Maddalone to be reinstated with full back pay, ruling that Maryland Transportation Secretary John D. Porcari fired him illegally for his political ties to former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., a Republican.
Gov. Martin O'Malley, a Democrat, was unavailable for comment.
Judge Sinrod ruled that Mr. Porcari violated Mr. Maddalone’s First and 14th Amendment rights. In addition, she noted, it is illegal under state law to fire workers solely because of their political affiliations.
In 2005, Democratic lawmakers accused Mr. Ehrlich of illegally firing thousands of state workers because of their ties to previous Democratic administrations.
Other state workers with Republican ties say they were fired by O'Malley administration officials because of their political affiliation.
Ryan Nawrocki, a former public information officer at the Maryland Aviation Administration, said he is appealing his firing.
“I do feel that [Mr. O'Malley‘s] administration has made it a political process,” Mr. Nawrocki said yesterday. “It’s only six months into this administration, and we already have a ruling saying, ‘Hey, you guys messed this up.’ ”
Democratic leaders yesterday said they do not plan to investigate O'Malley administration firings because they were not as numerous as the Ehrlich administration’s.
“I don’t see anything that leads to that magnitude now,” said House Speaker Michael E. Busch, Anne Arundel Democrat. “Are there some improper firings, and you go through the proper procedure at the [Office of Administrative Hearings] and they overrule the firing — that’s fine.”
Mr. Busch and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., Prince George’s County Democrat, created the Special Committee on State Employee Rights and Protections in June 2005 to examine the Ehrlich firings.View Entire Story
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