State worker sent home after judge’s reinstatement

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Members of the special committee said the way in which Ehrlich aides fired employees differs from how O'Malley officials have removed workers.

“They had guys like Joe Steffen running around calling themselves the ‘Prince of Darkness,’ ” said Sen. Brian E. Frosh, Montgomery Democrat and special committee member. “They made jokes out of it, they did it in almost a bloodthirsty way.”

Mr. Ehrlich said yesterday that state Sen. Thomas McLain Middleton, Charles County Democrat and special committee co-chairman, should reconvene the panel to investigate Mr. O'Malley’s firings.

“I know Mac, and I would expect him to have a hearing on the Maddalone matter,” Mr. Ehrlich said.

The 2005 investigation examined the firings of more than 7,000 at-will state employees, who serve at the pleasure of the governor and can be fired without cause.

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