Howard County Maryland Blog

Local Politics and Current Events

O’Malley firing ruled illegal over GOP ties

Posted by David Keelan on Thursday, June 14, 2007

UPDATE: June 15, 2006 – A copy of the judges decision is here.   As to Maddalone’s performance reviews, Far Exceeds Standards and Exceeds Standards.

We have heard the story before:

Democratic lawmakers in 2005 accused the Ehrlich administration of illegally firing thousands of state workers because of their ties to previous Democratic governors…[and] spent 13 months and $1.1 million of public funds to investigate the charges, Mr. Ehrlich was found to not have fired anyone illegally.

As reported in this Washington Times story. Some history here.  During the probe, Democratic lawmakers criticized Mr. Maddalone for his lack of legislative and transportation experience and for his supposed role in identifying Democrats to be fired by the Ehrlich administration. As the Washington Post reported sometime ago.

Two state transportation employees who were fired said they personally observed Maddalone’s work and believe that he was part of such an operation. “I got regular calls about him going around threatening people, saying, ‘Your name is on the list.’ Telling them, ‘You’re about to be terminated,’ ” said one of the former employees, who spoke on the condition on anonymity for fear of further retribution. “That only has to happen once, where someone actually gets fired, and the next time he tells someone this, people are quaking.”

Note the former employee never heard Maddalone threaten anyone.

Maddalone, 29, said that he never once made such an assertion and that he never had the clout to fire anyone. He said he did display the “Apprentice” shirt in his office, but only because he was a fan of the show. He confirmed that he was eventually asked to remove it by the chief of staff to Transportation Secretary Robert L. Flanagan, and that he complied.

After spending $1M the General Assembly didn’t find Maddalone guilty of anything. Paybacks are hell…  Greg Maddalone was fired by the O’Malley administration.  That is right.  But the real story is that the O’Malley administration, in only 6 months, has been found guilty of the same unfounded accusations charged by Democracts against Ehrlich.

A Maryland administrative law judge ruled this week that Gov. Martin O’Malley’s administration illegally fired a Republican state worker and ordered the worker to be reinstated with full back pay.  Judge Susan A. Sinrod ruled that Greg Maddalone was fired illegally by the O’Malley administration because of his political ties to former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., a Republican.

Mr. Ehrlich’s and Mr. Maddalone’s crititics have questioned Mr. Maddalone’s qualifications for his position because of the fact that he used to be a professional figure skater, and worked for Ehrlich when Ehrlich was a US Congressman. I haven’t seen any reports on the quality of work Mr. Maddalone produced for the state.  However, the Department of Transportation said:

“[Mr.] Porcari stands solidly by his decisions allowed by the law, MDOT spokesman John P. Cahalan said.

The paper did not report if MDOT discussed Mr. Maddalone’s work performance. Of course O’Malley supports Porcari:

“The governor supports the agency’s decision,” said Rick Abbruzzese, a spokesman for Mr. O’Malley.

Boy, this sounds just like 2005.  These guys are reading from Ehrlich’s play book but they aren’t playing by the same book.  Ehrlich didn’t violate anyone’s 1st or 14th Amendment rights.

In the ruling, Judge Sinrod rebuked state Transportation Secretary John D. Porcari for violating Mr. Maddalone’s First and 14th Amendment rights, according to the source.

Update:  I thought I would add this Washington Post perspective

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26 Responses to “O’Malley firing ruled illegal over GOP ties”

  1. Hayduke said

    Since I couldn’t post this on David Wissing’s site (censorship? j/k):

    Actually, MBT, there is a front page headline in the Sun today.

    Also, let’s not forget, Maddalone was hired by Ehrlich as an “administrator in the Department of Transportation’s Office of Engineering, Procurement and Emergency Services, which handles homeland security issues.” He has no college degree and his primary work experience prior to this job was as an ice dancer.

    Let that sink in.

    Ice dancer.

    Sure, firing him was political. But so was hiring him in the first place.

    For David Keelan:

    Your attempt to change the subject to his work performance is nice, but a stretch. He never should have had that position in the first place. There are standards for job applicants for a reason, after all. To me, this sounds like affirmative action (for greater Republican or Ice Dancer diversity…I can’t decide). Anyway, I thought the general Republican criticism of such practices was that you hire the best candidate for the position, regardless of all other factors. Are you really trying to say that someone without a college degree and with most of his previous professional experience on ice was the best candidate for this job?

  2. No I said, tell me about his work performance. That should be a big factor. It isn’t partisan to hire the best candidate – it is good management. Regardless, without a peer review of his work performance how can we judge his performance in the job (regardless of how he got the job).

    The Post had a different take on this and made good points.

    Anyway, the judge found that he was fired for being a Republican not for being an Ice Dancer.

  3. Hayduke said

    I know and two wrongs don’t make a right. I’ll agree that firing Maddalone was political if you agree that hiring him was, too. Deal?

  4. No doubts in my mind. Happens all the time – even in Howard County Government.

  5. Freemarket said

    HD- I can’t post on Wissing’s site either. I think his intent is to block me (which is fine with me, it’s his site and better for my blood pressure), but he probably cast his net too wide and blocked you as well.

    Btw, I think ice dancing translates well into a variety of other professions. Like King of the World, for example.

  6. Interesting. I saw these comments and went into my moderation queue and noticed that Hayduke and Freemarket are using the same IP address, which means they are either the same person, use the same computer, or use the same network (co-workers maybe?)

    Freemarket, early on, you know that early on you were attempting to post under multiple pseudonyms, one time complimenting yourself on a previous comment you had made. I did not know you were Freemarket at the time, but one thing I don’t tolerate is someone attempting to post under multiple names. So I simply blocked the IP address. Subsequently, you attempted to post again under a different pseudonym and when that failed, you then tried to post under the name Freemarket. However, you failed to change the email address, which was unique enough that I could tell it was the same person. I then connected the dots and realized that the previous comments were all yours (email address gave you away again).

    Once I found out it was you and saw that you were posting under a consistent pseudonym like most of my other regular commenters do, I thought I had removed the block on that IP address. Apparently I had not. That is why I mentioned the other day that I found a few of your comments in the moderation queue. I didn’t find any from Hayduke, so his comment this morning was the first I am aware of. Unfortunately for Hayduke, since he was using the same IP address as you this morning, his comment got caught up in the filter.

    As far as the topic of this post, personally each administration should be able to hire and fire who they want to work in their administration. To the victor go the spoils. I’ve never complained about the appointments or hiring Ulman did at the County level – he won, he gets to choose who he wants regardless of their actual qualifications. And I don’t begrudge O’Malley’s wish to change personnel at the state level. My whole point was the hypocrisy where Democrats charged Ehrlich as firing people for political reasons, made a huge political issue about it, launched an investigation, when not even six days into office, Martin O’Malley does the exact same thing.

  7. Freemarket said

    David W, you are definitely not as smart as you think you are. I have used multiple pseudonyms on your blog, but I have never had a conversation with myself on a blog using different pseudonyms, nor have I complemented anything I said myself on a blog using another name.

  8. Invisible Hand said

    Great point, FreeMarket. I can always count on you for valuable insight and challenging perspectives. Kudos!

    Might I also add, you look dashing today.

  9. Freemarket said

    Likewise! Love that shirt! 😉

  10. Now that I know the IP address is used by both of you and both of you are now consistently using a single pseudonym for comments on my site, I have double-checked and made sure the IP address is now unblocked from which these comments are coming from. There shouldn’t be any further issues with blocked comments from either of you – well unless, of course, you use one of those bad phrases like “Mortgage Loans” or “Buy Levitra”…. 🙂

  11. Freemarket said

    Are you sure there are just two people using this IP address? I may have said too much…

  12. Supply Side said

    I would find it hard to believe that more than two people would use the same IP address. What are the chances?

  13. Being in the business I can assure you that it is very possible.

    It isn’t a matter of chance either.

    All one has to do is go to a DNS search engine and resolve the IP address in question. If it resolves to a domain name such as capitalist.com then it is assigned to a dedicated internet connection and a router that allows multiple users to share the same ip address. This is what you will typically find in many companies and non-profit organizations. In this particular instance the IP address resolves to a local Howard County Organization with a dedicated internet connection.

  14. Innocent Explanation said

    Does that mean that Hayduke’s blog and Freemarket’s blog are actually from the same person?

  15. Innocent,

    No one said that. There isn’t enought information to come to that conclusion.

  16. Freemarket said

    I can assure you that Hayduke and I are NOT the same person. I’ll take that question as a compliment, but I think Hayduke should take that as an insult. Sure, I am mentally and physically superior to Hayduke, but in all other respects he one-ups me (this sentence is a joke, of course!)

  17. HiJynx said

    If you are not the same person then you work together, or know each other. You are playing games on the internet together, playing this comments chatter together. Obviously you enjoy it and think you have everyone fooled or you think they are fools. Which is it?

    I always wondered how the four of you have the time to blog. Now I have to wonder where do you two find the time to pull these shenanagans. Is it worth it? Are you trying to represent the entire liberal half of Howard County? What is the problem with you two? Can’t you say your piece without pretending to be someone else supporting your same position? How old are you? Aren’t one of you married which would make you an adult?

  18. MoJo said

    The better question would be are they whole gaggle of them in the employ of Howard County Government? If so are they wasting Government money and time with their progressive tirades?

  19. Hayduke said

    Wow, this has gotten really pathetic and, David, you’re only feeding it with the “there isn’t enough information for that” mularky.

    It’s no secret where I work. Anyone who’s ever paid even a sliver of attention to my blog would know.

    Also, anyone who’s ever read FreeMarket’s blog and seen his pictures would know we are not the same person. But why bother dealing with facts when you can simply speculate?

    To HiJynx, we spent one Friday afternoon having a little fun. We didn’t coordinate it, nor did we talk about it offline. This was the only time we’ve ever played this little game and there was no thought put into it. We didn’t to it to fool anyone, either. If anyone was the butt of my joke (I’m the invisible hand) it would be FreeMarket. And you’re second paragraph is just completely wrong. Did you read anything beyond David W’s spurious allegations about FreeMarket talking to himself or did you just stop there and decide to lob insults?

    As for Mojo, thank you for capping this off with your profound insights. Too bad you have no clue what you’re talking about.

  20. Observer said

    I read Keelan’s comment too and it seemed as though he was coming to your defense. I didn’t think he was feeding anything as pathetic as to what is alleged.

    What insults did Hijinx lob?

    You people obviously have nothing better to do.

  21. “spurious allegations”?

    As I stated in my email to both you and Freemarket, I will take Freemakret’s word for it that the second comment using a pseudonym complimenting the first comment using a different pseudonym was not Freemarket, despite the same IP address and email address being used for both, and assume someone else at your place of employment logged into the computer Freemarket was using while the email address Freemarket used for his alias was still in the comment window.

    After further research, I have every confidence short of seeing the two of them together, that Hayduke and Freemarket are indeed two different individuals. Unfortunately Hayduke, it appears you may have innocently gotten caught up in Freemarket’s attempt to use multiple aliases to leave comments.

    Good to see you again Observer….

  22. soccer dad said

    The Post is good at giving the Democratic view that what Ehrlich did was worse because he replaced 284 people. But that leaves out context. In 4 years then, Ehrlich retained 96% of the 7000 “at will” employees he inherited from previous administrations. Do you figure that O’Malley will retain anywhere near 250 of those Ehrlich appointees?

  23. Soccer,

    No I don’t think O’Malley will retain anywhere near 250 of those Ehrlich appointees.

    As Wissing said, to the victor go the spoils. However, what gets my goat isn’t that these people will be let go. What gets my goat is the politics and double standard that will be applied.

  24. soccer dad said

    I understand the spoils system, I was just emphasizing the double standard.

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