- The Washington Times - Monday, January 13, 2003

Gov. Parris N. Glendening struck an 11th-hour deal yesterday with Republican leaders that places 13 of his friends and political allies in high-paying, influential state jobs just days before his term expires.
Mr. Glendening, a Democrat whose term expires Wednesday, originally presented 150 appointments for Senate confirmation when the General Assembly convened on Wednesday, but a compromise struck between Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., Southern Maryland Democrat, and Senate Republican leaders pared the list to 13 to secure an uncontested confirmation vote today.
Among the 13 appointees is Maureen Quinn, the live-in girlfriend of Delegate Kumar P. Barve, Montgomery County Democrat and recently elected House majority leader.
Miss Quinn is likely to be appointed to a 15-year term as a workers' compensation examiner, earning more than $100,000 a year.
Other coveted jobs Mr. Glendening plans to fill in his final days are a district court judgeship in Prince George's County and three long-term posts on the University System of Maryland Board of Regents.
Also in line for appointments are former Sens. Michael J. Collins, Baltimore County Democrat, and Perry Sfikas, Baltimore City Democrat. They both retired from office this year.
Senate Minority Leader J. Lowell Stoltzfus, who serves on the Executive Nominations Committee that forwarded the appointments to the full Senate, said Republicans accepted the deal to avoid a contentious start for Gov.-elect Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., who will be the state's first Republican governor in 34 years.
Mr. Ehrlich will be sworn in Wednesday.
"Initially many of us were very uncomfortable with this, and we still are," said Mr. Stoltzfus, Eastern Shore Republican. "Governor Ehrlich should have been able to select his people for these key positions."
Mr. Ehrlich is aware of the appointments but has not called on Republicans to block them. He plans to review the appointments once in office, said Ehrlich spokesman Henry Fawell.
"Clearly, he would want to appoint people who will carry out [his] plan for the state," Mr. Fawell said.
The final-hour appointments are the latest friction between Mr. Glendening and Mr. Ehrlich, though Mr. Ehrlich and his transition team have not publicly acknowledged any ill will. As one transition team member put it, Mr. Ehrlich has asked his staff to put a "happy face" on the situation.
Mr. Glendening also has come up short on his promise to erase a $500 million deficit in this year's budget before Mr. Ehrlich takes office. So far, Mr. Glendening has trimmed only about $175 million.
He will leave Mr. Ehrlich with more than $300 million to cut in the budget year ending June 30 and a $1.3 billion shortfall to erase in the next budget year. Mr. Ehrlich's budget proposal for the next fiscal year is due in four days.
The compromise that cleared the way for the 13 appointments was struck in an emergency meeting Friday, securing passage through the Executive Nominations Committee. The full Senate will vote on the 13 appointments in a single vote tonight, unless a senator asks for an individual appointment to be considered separately.

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